Accused Ponzi Suspect Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho Arrested, But New Mystery Emerges: NFL Draft Pick Was Seen Driving Same Car

Screen shot from YouTube video. Red highlights by PP Blog.

Screen shot from YouTube video. Red highlights by PP Blog.

2ND UPDATE 6:23 P.M. EDT U.S.A. Ponzi-scheme suspect Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho of DFRF Enterprises has been arrested in Boca Raton, Fla. after an FBI investigation — but a new mystery is emerging on how he came into possession of a gold Lamborghini bearing Florida tag DJBU10.

The extremely pricy automobile is shown in at least two online videos that display the tag number and name of Prestige Imports/Lamborghini Miami in the rear license-plate holder. Filho is driving the car in a video that appears on YouTube. (Shown below.)

In a separate video that appears on Instagram, the car purportedly is being driven by Vic Beasley, the Georgia native and Clemson University (South Carolina) football standout who was the first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in this year’s NFL draft.

Neither the dealership nor Beasley has been accused of wrongdoing, and the car may be a marketing prop for the dealership on Biscayne Boulevard North in Miami Beach. The PP Blog left messages for comment today at both the dealership and the office of Five Star Athlete Management, the Atlanta-based agency that represents Beasley.

The Blog will include the comments if the calls are returned. The Blog also is awaiting the return of a call it made for comment to the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts.

Both of the videos appear to have been made by happenstance by individuals who have no DFRF ties and simply shot footage when the eye-popping Lamborghini appeared when they were nearby.

The person who posted YouTube footage showing Filho in the car appears to be an automobile hobbyist and not to have recognized him at all. Separately, the person who shot the Instagram footage showing Beasley behind the wheel appears possibly to have recognized the football star, but the backdrop also is striking.

In the Beasley video, the car is seen driving at a slow speed across across a grassy area that includes a fire hydrant and low curb, making a right turn onto a side road, drifting through a stop sign and then making another right turn onto a different highway. A sign that briefly appears in the video appears to read “NW 13th St.”

There is a NW 13th Street in Miami, but the Blog could not conclusively determine that’s where the Instagram video was shot.

There also is a discussion thread about Beasley and the Lamborghini at the website of TigerNet, which covers topics pertaining to Clemson athletics. The first post is dated Feb. 18, 2015, weeks prior to the April 30 NFL draft.  Another Feb. 18 post in the thread identifies the license number as DJBU10. Still another identifies it as a Florida tag.

The PP Blog first observed Filho driving the car in this DFRF promotional video published May 8, 2015, on YouTube. The tag number, however, does not appear in the video.

As noted above, an apparent car hobbyist with a YouTube account (HAW.Photography) encountered the exceptionally flashy ride while shooting footage in Boca Raton. The YouTube upload date of this video is April 4, 2015. The headline is “GOLD Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 in Boca Raton, Florida.” Most of the video appears to have been shot on U.S. Route 1, which passes through Boca Raton.

A female in the car shooting the video exclaims, “There’s another one!” Another female voice says, “A gold one!”

At one point the Lamborghini makes a right turn into a car wash. The videographers appear to be in a different traffic lane, but eventually make it into the same parking lot. When the video resumes in the parking lot, Filho is seen stepping out of the driver’s side door of the Lamborghini. A woman exits the vehicle from the passenger’s side door.

Whether either of the videos has evidentiary value in the Ponzi cases against Filho was not immediately clear. Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts described him yesterday as a fugitive who met arrest Tuesday while “coming out of a restaurant in Boca Raton.”

Filho is a citizen of Brazil. Prosecutors said Filho had evaded “arrest for more than two weeks” before being caught. The FBI had been seeking his arrest since June 25.

In a civil case against Filho announced by the SEC on July 2, the agency describes him as having spent $2.5 million to acquire “a fleet of luxury automobiles,” including a 2014 Rolls-Royce, a 2015 Lamborghini, a 2014 Lamborghini, a 2012 Ferrari, a 2006 Ferrari, a 2013 Mercedes, a 2014 Cadillac and a 2015 Cadillac.

The SEC has linked Filho to Sann Rodrigues, a figure in the epic TelexFree pyramid- and Ponzi scheme case. TelexFree may have gathered as much as $1.8 billion. DFRF’s haul currently is estimated at $15 million.

Officials at the SEC today Tweeted news of the Filho arrest.

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17 Responses to “Accused Ponzi Suspect Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho Arrested, But New Mystery Emerges: NFL Draft Pick Was Seen Driving Same Car”

  1. See this Instagram post attributed to Vic Beasley. It shows a Lamborghini. Because of the lighting, I can’t tell if it’s the precise car Filho was driving.

    https://instagram.com/p/y5ginfwUT1/?taken-by=vicbeasley3

    “God has been too good to me…finally got my dream car,” the post says.

    The Instagram video linked to in the story above shows that Beasley — at least at one time — was in a gold Lamborghini that had the same plate number as the Filho ride.

    Patrick

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  2. Also: The U.S. Attorney’s office currently is listing Filho’s age as 58. But an FBI affidavit from last month lists his age as 47. I made a call to check on that disparity and am waiting to hear back.

    Patrick

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  3. Full statement dated today by the SEC on the arrest of Filho . . .

    __________________________________________________________

    Authorities Arrest Fugitive Operator of Pyramid/Ponzi Scheme Based in Massachusetts and Florida

    The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that, on July 21, 2015, federal authorities arrested Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho of Orlando, Florida, after he was criminally charged with defrauding investors. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts charged Filho on June 30, 2015, with wire fraud in connection with an investment fraud he operated under the name DFRF Enterprises. Filho was arrested in Florida after evading arrest for more than two weeks.

    The criminal charges against Filho relate to the same conduct charged in a civil enforcement action filed by the SEC on June 30, 2015, against Filho, DFRF Enterprises, and others. Those charges were filed under seal, in connection with the Commission’s request for an immediate asset freeze. That asset freeze, which the federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, ordered on June 30, secured approximately two million dollars of funds and prevented the potential further dissipation of investor assets. After the SEC staff implemented the asset freeze, at the SEC’s request the Court lifted the seal on July 2, 2015. On July 13, 2015, the Court extended the asset freeze as to all defendants [Filho; two DFRF Enterprises companies based in Massachusetts and Florida; Wanderley M. Dalman of Revere, Massachusetts; Gaspar C. Jesus of Malden, Massachusetts; Eduardo N. Da Silva of Orlando, Florida; Heriberto C. Perez Valdes of Miami, Florida; Jeffrey A. Feldman of Boca Raton, Florida; and Romildo Da Cunha of Brazil]. A hearing on the SEC’s motion for preliminary injunction is scheduled for July 28, 2015 in the federal court in Boston.

    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. According to the SEC’s complaint, with the help of several promoters, DFRF 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 SEC alleges that 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. The SEC further alleges that Filho has withdrawn more than $6 million of investor funds to buy a fleet of luxury cars, among other personal expenses.

    The SEC alleges that Filho and others began selling “memberships” in DFRF during 2014 through meetings with prospective investors primarily in Massachusetts hotel conference rooms, private homes, and businesses. According to the SEC’s complaint, DFRF promoted the investment opportunity through online videos in which Filho falsely claimed that the company had registered with the SEC and its stock would be publicly traded. As DFRF’s marketing reach widened, membership sales dramatically increased from under $100,000 in June 2014 to more than $4 million in March 2015 alone.

    For further information, see Litigation Release No. 23296 (July 2, 2015)

    __________________________________________________________

    Source: http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2015/lr23310.htm

    Patrick

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  4. “It’s a wrap !” Maybe it realy is. Literally.

    Look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV3WnAADTE8

    Well, the instagram video about the NFL player was uploaded in February.

    The youtube video showing Daniel and his gold Lambo is dated April.

    In this meantime Daniel probably bought the car and wrap it is gold chrome in one of those services in Florida.

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  5. DMPontes: “It’s a wrap !” Maybe it realy is. Literally.

    Look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV3WnAADTE8

    Wow! That’s really something, DMPontes. Thanks for sharing it.

    Patrick

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  6. You’re very welcome, you know that I’m a big fan… ;)

    Look at the date of the video below, in fact the gold Lambo started to pop up on early March…

    https://youtu.be/36lG-EEvD5A?t=27s

    And if you notice, the SEC complaint states that from June 2014 till now, Daniel used $2,5 million of investor’s money to buy luxury cars, which included, among others:

    – One Lambo 2014
    – One Lambo 2015

    So I imagine ‘our’ Lambo is that one licensed in 2014…

    http://patrickpretty.com/2015/07/02/urgent-bulletin-moving-sec-charges-dfrf-enterprises-in-ponzi-and-pyramid-scheme-case/

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  7. Can’t tell if it’s the same AU79 car. Danny Filho’s version no longer has the “Prestige Imports” and “Lamborghini Miami” black lettering on the doors. On the other hand, those were probably there just for the glamour shots and owner probably removed them later. During dealer days it was sporting dealer tag 666 EDU.

    Which sort of begs the question… Did Beasley only borrowed it or rented it… same thing Filho did?

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  8. Snippet from a Boston Globe story yesterday on the Filho arrest:

    _____________________________________________

    In the past, a Twitter account that appeared to represent the company denied the SEC’s charges and said the company would make a statement, but the account appears to have been deleted.

    _____________________________________________

    That account was https://twitter.com/DFRF_LLC

    Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/07/23/alleged-ponzi-schemer-arrested-florida/L0RvFkQuaL0nbuWQYM3YfN/story.html#

    Patrick

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  9. K Chang:
    Can’t tell if it’s the same AU79 car.

    What you mean by ‘AU79 car’ ? Just didt’n get almost anything that you said…. lol

    Maybe yiu are refering to some other video or article that I’m not aware of ?

    I also can’t see any lettering on the doors in both videos…

    About the renting/buying doubt I think is reasonable in the NFL player’s case but not in Daniel’s case. Because Daniel indeed possess a luxury fleet of cars. Who would rent a lambo having two more in the garage ?

    But yes the NFL player could had rented or leased it.

    Two things to support the idea tha Daniel just bought the car from him:

    1-After this video in February you ZERO images/videos/notices of Beasley driving the car.

    2-In the facebook post that Beasley posted the video, almost every friend AND RELATIVE of him are giving advices that he SHOULD NOT BUY THE CAR, cause he is a draft player, so he still did not signed a pro contract to afford such an expensive asset. In another words: He probly just gave up buying/renting/leasing.

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  10. Well, another mystery: Who will represent Filho?

    There was a detention hearing today in Southern Florida (West Palm Beach), but no attorney showed for Filho, according to the docket.

    This courtesy of ASD Updates — the verbatim minute entry:

    _____________________________________________________

    PAPERLESS Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon: AUSA-John McMillan present. Report Re Counsel Hearing as to Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho held on 7/24/2015. Defendant states he has counsel-Patricia Casals. Government states Attorney Patricia Cavell is in Canada and will not represent Defendant. Court allows Defendant more time to retain counsel. ( Detention Hearing, Identity Hearing and Report Re: Counsel Hearing reset for 7/28/2015 at 10:00 AM in West Palm Beach Division before WPB Duty Magistrate.) (Digital 10:10:32/10:40:34) (sa) (Entered: 07/24/2015)

    _____________________________________________________

    So, the hearing has been reset for July 28. Looks as though Filho will remain in custody. Other docs make no reference to bond/bail.
    It is unclear whether Filho and prosecutors were talking about the same defense attorney. Filho referenced Patricia Casals; prosecutors referenced Patricia Cavell.

    Patrick

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  11. DMPontes: ‘AU79 car’

    “AU79” was a nickname for a gold Lamborghini Aventador. The “AU” stands for gold. And the “79” is because gold has the atomic number of 79 on the periodic table of the elements.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold

    Patrick

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  12. AU79 Lambo Aventador was the ORIGINAL Gold wrapped Aventador in Miami created by Prestige Imports. That one had “prestige” and “Lamborghini Miami” on the doors in black.

    It’s clear that this one was NOT that one. There’s a photo of Beasley sitting in an Aventador that is NOT wrapped in gold, but merely Lambo yellow/orange. That was dated February. So sometime between then and April the gold wrap was added.

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  13. Oh I see now, thanks for clarifying… ;)

    That’s my conclusion too. But to be more precise, Beasley gave up RIGHT AFTER he bought/rented/leased the yellow. Because Filho was first videoed with it actually in MARCH the 7th.

    https://youtu.be/36lG-EEvD5A?t=27s

    And the images Lucas brought to us indicates that he bought the other Lambo (Gallardo Lambo ?) for his wife, as he did with the 2 Ferraris and the 2 Cadillacs. One for him, one for the wife.

    Then he covered both lambos in gold chrome, so he could use for DFRF propaganda.

    End of story (at least for me)

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  14. Lucas: 2 Lamborguini’s: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205149465991055&set=a.10201268631212611.1073741825.1076936463&type=1&theater

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205149424310013&set=a.10201268631212611.1073741825.1076936463&type=1&theater

    These appear to be in a “Gaspar Jesus” Facebook account, and Gaspar C. Jesus of Malden, Mass., is a DFRF defendant in the SEC’s civil case.

    In Florida filings, Gaspar C. Jesus of Orlando is listed as a DFRF “authorized representative.” The DFRF Orlando office address appears to be a TelexFree-like, ready-to-use office.

    See loopnet photo:

    http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/14992356/121-S-Orange-Avenue-Ste-1500-Orlando-FL/

    Compare it to the images from the camera panning at the beginning of this DFRF promo:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36lG-EEvD5A&feature=youtu.be&t=27s

    Patrick

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  15. Can’t see the loopnet photo. It says the access to website is denied.

    About Gaspar, he acts as Daniel’s valet when it comes to the meetings at the office.

    Comparing Luca’s photo and the video I mentioned, you can see that is Gaspar in both ocasions who handles filho’s car parking.

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  16. DMPontes: Can’t see the loopnet photo.

    Try this one:

    http://www.youroffice.com/orlando-downtown-office-space/

    Patrick

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