BULLETIN: SEC Ups WCM777 Pyramid And Fraud Haul To More Than $80 Million; Agency Files Amended Complaint That Names ‘Inactive’ Attorney Relief Defendant And Alleged Distributor Of Fraud Proceeds

breakingnews72BULLETIN: (1st update 7:58 p.m. EDT U.S.A.) The SEC has filed an amended complaint in the alleged WCM777 pyramid- and Ponzi scheme. The complaint ups the WCM777 haul from roughly $65 million to more than $80 million and names an “inactive” Florida attorney a relief defendant as the alleged recipient and distributor of fraud proceeds.

Vincent Messina, the attorney, allegedly is associated with an entity known as International Market Ventures (IMV) “based in Washington, D.C.” with asserted offices in Los Angeles, Shanghai, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Congo, Benin, and South Africa, the SEC says.

Messina also was the asserted “general counsel” of World Capital Market, a company associated with WCM777 and accused Ponzi schemer Ming Xu, the SEC said. An affidavit included with the SEC’s amended complaint includes a copy of an email allegedly sent by Ming Xu to Messina inquiring about how to get WCM777 money out of Brazil.

“Vincent,” the alleged Ming Xu email to Messina began. “We have lots of members for our social capital company, WCM777 in Brazil. They paid us in Brazil. How to move the money legally from Brazil to USA or Hong Kong?”

Whether Messina replied to the email was not immediately clear.

“In June 2013, Messina was named as in-house legal counsel of ‘World Capital Market,'” the SEC said in its complaint. “Messina is also the general counsel of Relief Defendant IMV. Messina holds himself out as duly licensed to practice law in the State of Florida; however, the Florida Bar Internet site lists Messina as ‘inactive’ and ‘Not eligible to practice in Florida.’ Messina has an office in Los Angeles, California.”

Messina appears also not to be licensed in California, the SEC said in the affidavit. WCM777 operated from California.

WCM777, the SEC said, “is the umbrella name that Defendants use for their multilevel  marketing scheme.”

The SEC initially sued WCM777 in March 2014. The “program” is known to have promoters in common with TelexFree, which the SEC sued on April 15. Both complaints were filed on an emergency basis. Both “programs” allegedly targeted speakers of Portuguese and Spanish, with WCM777 also allegedly targeting speakers of Chinese.

Portuguese is the main language spoken in Brazil.

On April 10, the PP Blog reported that the court-appointed receiver in the WCM777 case advised a federal judge that she’d halted an apparent WCM777 reload scheme and that Ming Xu, also known as Phil Ming Xu, transferred $5 million to Messina as part of a “sham” designed to stash cash.

Messina, the SEC alleged in the May 7 amended complaint, “disbursed those funds to, among others, IMV and possibly entities affiliated with IMV.”

Certain money disbursed by Messina ended up with “persons in Canada, Abu Dhabi, and to an entity in Hong Kong,” the SEC alleged.

NOTE: Thanks to the ASD Updates Blog.

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4 Responses to “BULLETIN: SEC Ups WCM777 Pyramid And Fraud Haul To More Than $80 Million; Agency Files Amended Complaint That Names ‘Inactive’ Attorney Relief Defendant And Alleged Distributor Of Fraud Proceeds”

  1. This article pulls a quote from the SEC complaint mentioned that Messina is currently in inactive status in Florida. However, today, it appears that he is active. Could it be possible that he re-activated his membership to the Florida Bar since the time of the complaint?

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  2. Jeremy: This article pulls a quote from the SEC complaint mentioned that Messina is currently in inactive status in Florida. However, today, it appears that he is active. Could it be possible that he re-activated his membership to the Florida Bar since the time of the complaint?

    Yes, it is possible. On May 7, the SEC filed an exhibit showing that, on April 29, Messina was listed by the Florida Bar as “Inactive” and “Not eligible to practice in Florida.”

    Patrick

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  3. Is it possible that Ming is in jail?

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  4. Zenhout: Is it possible that Ming is in jail?

    I’ve checked on multiple occasions and have not been able to confirm a theory he is in jail.

    Patrick

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