BRIEF: DFRF’s Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho Indicted; Feds Establish Victims’ Page

Arrested and jailed in July, alleged Ponzi schemer Dniel Fernandes Rojo Filho earlier was tooling around in this gold Lamborghini. From a YouTube video. Highlights by PP Blog.

Arrested and jailed in July, alleged Ponzi schemer Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho earlier was tooling around in this gold Lamborghini. From a YouTube video. Highlights by PP Blog.

Federal criminal prosecutors in the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts have moved to stay discovery in the SEC’s civil case against DFRF Enterprises and alleged Ponzi- and pyramid-scheme operator Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho.

Initially charged in July 2015 via criminal complaint with wire fraud,  Filho was indicted by a grand jury on Aug. 5 and charged with three counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors have established a page here and are soliciting information from potential victims.

In essence, criminal prosecutors are arguing that a stay is warranted as a means of assuring Filho does not use the relaxed discovery standards in the civil action to gain an unfair advantage in the criminal case.

As of yesterday, Filho  did not have counsel in either the civil case or the criminal case, prosecutors said.

They also thumb-nailed the criminal allegations. From prosecutors’ motion to intervene in the civil case (italics added):

The investment pitch that Filho and others gave was, in sum and substance, as follows: By sending DFRF as little as $1,000—or as much as an individual wanted to invest—and becoming a DFRF “member,” potential investors could share in the large profits DFRF was generating through highly profitable gold-mining operations in Africa. Investor money would first be sent to a private bank in Switzerland, where the money would be “leveraged” or increased. DFRF would then invest “member” money in the gold-mining operations, resulting in even greater profits, of approximately, or up to, 15% per month. “Members’” investments would be 100% insured and they could get their principal investment returned anytime they wanted.

According to the Indictment, many of the representations that Filho and others working at his direction made were false and misleading. For example, DFRF never transmitted any investor money to a private Swiss bank and never transmitted any investor money to gold-mining operations in Africa. The Indictment also alleges that Filho concealed his scheme in various ways, such as distributing debit cards, which “members” could purportedly use to withdraw funds, but which did not actually work. In Ponzi-scheme-like fashion, Filho also recycled money provided by some investors to pay other investors who were expecting their principal or returns thereon.

Investigators have tied Filho to Sann Rodrigues, a figure in the TelexFree pyramid- and Ponzi case.

Criminal prosecutors successfully intervened in the SEC’s civil case against TelexFree, believed to be one of the largest pyramid- and Ponzi schemes in U.S. history and to have gathered on the order of $1.8 billion through the firm’s MLM program.

Though allegedly smaller than TelexFree with an estimated haul of about $23 million, DFRF allegedly targeted some of the same affinity groups targeted by TelexFree.

NOTE: Our thanks to the ASD Updates Blog.

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