Florida law enforcement officials raided the office of a Florida radio personality Thursday morning and later arrested the man on charges that he ran a $3.1 million Ponzi scheme that targeted Haitian-Americans. Philippe Bourciquot faces charges of racketeering, securities fraud, grand theft, and money laundering in connection with the scheme. As he was led away, Bourciquot was quoted as saying "it's not true I'm not stealing money."
According to law enforcement, Bourciquot appeared on several radio shows in south Florida where he solicited Haitian-Americans to invest with him, promising them monthly returns of 8% and promising them that their investments were "guaranteed." These monthly returns equated to an approximate annual return of nearly 100%. According to a local newspaper, Bourciquot raised over $3 million from his fellow Haitian-Americans.
However, after authorities received a tip about a suspicious advertisement in Creole, a subsequent investigation found that Bourciquot was not using investor funds as promised, and instead was using funds from new investors to pay previous investors - a classic hallmark of a Ponzi scheme. Authorities believe that Bourciquot also diverted investor funds to support his lavish lifestyle, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey stated his belief that "a large portion of the funds will be unrecoverable."
If you believe you were a victim of this scheme, you may file a complaint with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation online at flofr.com or by phone at 850-487-9687. Victims speaking Creole are asked to call 305-536-0308.