URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: SEC Charges DFRF Enterprises In Ponzi- And Pyramid Scheme Case; Agency Ties TelexFree Figure Sann Rodrigues To Charged DFRF Operator Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho

breakingnews72URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: (15th Update 4:43 p.m. EDT U.S.A.) The SEC has gone to federal court in Massachusetts, charging DFRF Enterprises and alleged operator Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho with operating a combined pyramid- and Ponzi scheme targeted at “Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities in Massachusetts, Florida, and elsewhere in the U.S.”

Six alleged promoters also were charged.

In its complaint, the SEC ties Filho to Sann Rodrigues, a figure in the TelexFree Ponzi- and pyramid-scheme case filed by the agency last year in Massachusetts.

A stunning allegation from the SEC complaint (italics added/light editing performed):

. . . Filho has caused DFRF to pay more than $310,000 for the benefit of Sanderley Rodrigues de Vasconcelos (“Rodrigues”). Rodrigues is the subject of a 2007 consent judgment in a Commission enforcement action concerning the “Universo Foneclub” pyramid scheme, and he is a defendant in the Commission’s pending enforcement action concerning the “TelexFree” pyramid scheme. On March 21, 2015, Filho caused DFRF to pay $50,000 to a business belonging to Rodrigues. (The payment was made less than one month after Filho publicly denied any link between DFRF and TelexFree.)

On March 30, 2015, Filho caused DFRF to pay $100,000 to the same business. On April 2, 2015, Filho caused DFRF to supply more than $160,000 so that another business belonging to Rodrigues could purchase a 2008 Lamborghini sports car. There is no evidence that Rodrigues provided any services or other benefit to DFRF.

All in all, according to the SEC, Rodrigues received more than $310,000 from DFRF’s fraud scheme. He has claimed he received at least $3 million from TelexFree.

After Rodrigues was arrested in the United States in May on charges of immigration fraud, he asserted his current income was $80,000 a year, according to court filings. He also claimed to own two homes — one in Massachusetts and one in Florida — free and clear.

The PP Blog reported on June 30 that a wanted notice on INTERPOL’s website said Rodrigues was being sought by Brazil for “Tax Evasion and not obey[ing] a Judicial Order.” Though granted conditional bail in the immigration case, Rodrigues now is being held in the United States on Brazil’s warrant.

He also is implicated in a scheme known as IFreeX, the subject of a warning by the Massachusetts Securities Division last year.

The British Columbia Securities Commission issued a fraud warning against DFRF in May.

In the SEC complaint filed under seal June 30 and made public today, the agency described DFRF as an ongoing offering fraud and Filho as a thief who had siphoned investors’ outlays from the scheme.

“Filho has also used the investors’ money for his personal benefit,” the SEC charged in its 22-page complaint. “Since June 2014, he has siphoned more than $6 million out of DFRF — approximately 40% of the total received from investors. This includes more than $1.8 million in cash withdrawals, approximately $1.8 million for personal expenses (including $500,000 for travel), and almost $2.5 million to acquire a fleet of luxury automobiles.”

The scheme allegedly gathered about $15 million, the SEC charged.

“DFRF and its operators falsely claimed that they were running a lucrative gold mining business when in reality they were operating a Ponzi and pyramid scheme that preyed on investors in particular ethnic communities who stand to lose millions of dollars,” said John T. Dugan, associate regional director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office.  “Investors were not given the full story about the true value and security of their investments.”

Charged promoters include Wanderley M. Dalman of Revere, Mass.; Gaspar C. Jesus of Malden, Mass.; Eduardo N. Da Silva of Orlando, Fla.; Heriberto C. Perez Valdes of Miami; Jeffrey A. Feldman of Boca Raton; and Romildo Da Cunha of Brazil.

On Jan. 19, 2015, the PP Blog reported that DFRF was the apparent sponsor of an event in Florida that featured an appearance by Brazilian racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi. Sann Rodrigues — now jailed in the United States on a warrant from Brazil — also was seen with Fittipaldi.

Like Rodrigues, Filho is a Brazilian who has conducted business in the United States. He previously was linked to the noxious Evolution Market Group/Finanzas Forex case in 2010. The PP Blog first wrote about Filho more than five years ago, in May 2010.

A federal judge has approved an asset freeze in the DFRF case, the SEC said.

BehindMLM.com reported in May 2015 that DFRF had dropped the names of the SEC and the FBI in a YouTube sales pitch uploaded in December 2014.

From a statement today by the SEC (italics added):

The SEC alleges that DFRF Enterprises, named for its founder Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho, claimed to operate more than 50 gold mines in Brazil and Africa, but the company’s revenues came solely from selling membership interests to investors and not from mining gold. With the help of several promoters, they lured investors with such false promises as their money would be fully insured, DFRF has a line of credit with a Swiss private bank, and one-quarter of DFRF’s profits are used for charitable work in Africa. The scheme raised more than $15 million from at least 1,400 investors by recruiting new members in pyramid scheme fashion to keep the fraud afloat, and commissions were paid to earlier investors in Ponzi-like fashion for their recruitment efforts.

Rodrigues is not listed as a codefendant in the SEC’s case against Filho and the other defendants.

But the agency alleged that DFRF also had paid those defendants. Since June 2014:  “approximately $521,000 to Valdes, $252,000 to Feldman, $221,000 to Silva, $56,000 to Jesus, $51,000 to Dalman, and $33,000 to Cunha.”

As was the case with TelexFree, some investors paid their sponsors directly, instead of paying DFRF, the SEC alleged.

“The amount of checks and cash that the individual defendants collected directly from investors is currently unknown,” the agency said.

Included among a “a fleet of luxury automobiles” acquired by Filho from investors’ money were a 2014 Rolls Royce, a 2015 Lamborghini, a 2014 Lamborghini, a 2012 Ferrari, a 2006 Ferrari, a 2013 Mercedes, a 2015 Cadillac and a 2014 Cadillac, the SEC charged.

Read the SEC’s DFRF complaint.

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7 Responses to “URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: SEC Charges DFRF Enterprises In Ponzi- And Pyramid Scheme Case; Agency Ties TelexFree Figure Sann Rodrigues To Charged DFRF Operator Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho”

  1. Just great,

    I’m glad to see that SEC were working behind the scenes, although I still think they should had issued some kind of warning to the public.

    That also explain the link between the three men: They like fancy cars..

    Unfortunately for Rojo Filho, cars won’t help much when he get on jail.

    Ask Sanderley how many miles he is driving for day by now.

  2. DFRF allegedly pushed a lot of buttons to give the fraud scheme a head of steam: Shiny objects, appeals to charity, purported insurance, etc.

    DFRF struck me as some sort of emerging hybrid that basically marries multiple forms of fraud: affinity, HYIPs, prime-bank swindles, shiny objects . . .

    From the SEC complaint:


    The defendants’ sales pitch combines stories about lucrative gold mines, promises of remarkable returns, pledges to help the needy, and appeals to join the DFRF “family”. The defendants claim that DFRF owns more than 50 gold mines in Brazil and Africa, produces 13 to 16 metric tons of gold per month, and makes a gross return of 100% on every kilogram it produces.

    They claim that DFRF has a credit line with a Swiss private bank to triple its available funds, uses 25% of its profits for charitable work in Africa, offers a 10% credit for recruiting new members, and pays 15% per month to investors. They also claim that the investors’ money is fully guaranteed by a worldwide insurance company.

    Since late March 2015, the defendants have claimed that DFRF is registered with the Commission, its stock is about to become publicly traded, and current investors may convert their membership interests into stock options at $15.06 per share. At first, Filho represented that public trading would start in mid-April 2015. Since then, he has announced several delays and offered various excuses. On June 17, 2015, he claimed that, although public trading has not begun, the value of DFRF stock now exceeds $64 per share.

    Virtually all of the defendants’ public statements about DFRF have been
    materially false and misleading. There are no gold mines. There is no credit line. There is no charity work. There is no stock registration. There is no insurance. Nevertheless, from June 2014 through May 2015, DFRF raised more than $15 million from more than 1,400 investors worldwide. The U.S. investors have been drawn primarily from the Spanish and Portuguese speaking communities in Massachusetts, Florida, and elsewhere.

    The investors’ money has not been used to conduct gold mining, pay for a credit line, purchase insurance, or endow charitable activities. DFRF has received no proceeds from mining operations or any credit line. To date, DFRF has paid approximately $1.6 million back to investors. Because it has no independent source of revenue, it is apparent that, in classic Ponzi scheme fashion, DFRF is using money from some investors to pay other investors.


    It also was nice to see this in the SEC’s statement:

    “The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the Boston field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Massachusetts Securities Division of the Massachusetts Secretary of Commonwealth’s office, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, the Financial Services Commission of Barbados, and the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority.”


  3. Quick note: I’m going to cover the allegations against the other defendants in a separate story . . .


  4. Indeed Patrick I have the same vision, they mixed up the things, turning it into a hybrid scheme.

    I have a few clues indicating what influenced them to change from the gold mining mode to the stock market mode.

    I won’t disclose it, not yet, cause the scheme is still running here in Brazil.

    But I’m pretty sure what lead to this change, the pattern is way too consistent for a coincidence.

    Hugs and congrats for another excelent job.

  5. DMPontes: Hugs and congrats for another excelent job.

    Thanks for this, DMPontes. Very nice to see you here.


  6. This was posted in GateHouse Media official page on facebook. Could anyone help to support with comments ? Thanks in advance. ;)


  7. http://esporte.uol.com.br/velocidade/ultimas-noticias/2016/04/04/fittipaldi-acumula-dividas-com-bancos-prefeituras-e-ate-posto-de-gasolina.htm

    Emerson Fittipaldi faces millionaires court cases. More than 60 lawsuits filed in São Paulo State Courts against the world champion of Formula 1. The list of creditors against former pilot includes private and public banks, municipalities, entrepreneurs and even station owner gasoline.

    The Bradesco, ABC, Safra, HSBC, Banco Itau of Brazil and filed lawsuits in court asking for compensation for bank loans made to the pilot. The loans of the banks were granted to pilot the company, EF Marketing and Communication LTD.

    The Bank of Brazil, for example, moves more than 10 lawsuits against Fittipaldi