A south Florida man who promised members of the Haitian community that he could double their money in 90 days will serve the next 12.5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a $30 million Ponzi scheme. George Theodule, 52, received the sentence after previously pleading guilty to a single count of wire fraud in October 2013. Theodule's prison sentence will also be filed by three years of supervised release.
Theodule owned and operated several companies, including Creative Capital Concept$, LLC ("Creative Capital") and Creative Capital Consortium, LLC ("CCC"). Using these companies, and a variety of other entities and investment clubs he formed, Theodule held himself out as a financial expert to the Haitian community, touting his 17+ years of experience trading stocks and options. Theodule promised astronomical returns, guaranteeing potential investors 100% returns on their investment in just 90 days. As if these exorbitant returns were not enough, Theodule also told potential investors that part of his trading profits were used for a variety of humanitarian purposes, including the funding of start-up businesses in the Haitian community as well as contributing to business projects in Haiti and Sierra Leone. Based on these representations, Theodule is said to have raised more than $30 million from as many as 2,500 investors from July 2007 to December 2008.
However, authorities alleged that Theodule's claims of trading success were completely false, and that in reality, Theodule was operating a massive Ponzi scheme. Theodule's trading records showed trading losses of at least $18 million, and the remainder of investor funds were diverted to support Theodule's lavish lifestyle that included exotic car collections, motorcycles, rings, and even trips to Vegas.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency enforcement action in December 2008, accusing Theodule of multiple violations of federal securities laws. According to the court-appointed receiver, Theodule had spent early 100% of the money he took in, and little remained for victims.
A copy of the indictment is below: