Feds Nab Florida Pair In Alleged Investment Fraud On Foreign Investors

April 20, 2012

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On April 19, 2012, federal prosecutors issued an Indictment in federal court in Manhattan, NY, charging S. George Milter, 33, and Cliffe R. Bodden, 48, both of Lake Mary, FL, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.

NOTE: The charges contained in the Indictment are merely allegationss and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The Indictment alleges that Milter held himself out as the Chief Executive Officer of Lempert Brothers International U.S.A., a registered broker-dealer in Manhattan; and President and CEO of Lempert Capital Management, Ltd., a corporation purportedly incorporated in the Cayman Islands.  Similarly, Bodden  allegedly held himself out as a Managing Director of Lempert Capital.

Beginning around 2005, Milter is charged with having lured foreign investors into sending at least $946,509 to bank accounts that he controlled under the pretense that those funds would be invested in the U.S. financial markets by Lempert Brothers through Lempert Capital.  To induce investors into wiring funds, the Indictment alleges that Milter falsely told them that the funds would be safeguarded. Milter is also charged with falsely guaranteeing that if the investment fell over 20% that the funds would be frozen and any remaining balance returned.

In furtherance of their scheme, Milter and Bodden allegedly sent to the investors, monthly account statements that falsely reflected the investment of funds and purported to show substantial income.  When investors attempted to withdraw funds from their accounts, the defendants failed to honor such requests and offered fraudulent explanations, including, for example, that because funds had been invested in various non-public companies and those investments were presently illiquid. In fact, according to the prosecutors, Milter and Bodden used the money for their personal use, and transferred some of the funds to a member of Milter's family and to entities affiliated with Bodden.

Milter and Bodden face on each count a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The Indictment also seeks forfeiture of the proceeds of, and property involved in, the charged crimes, including at least $946,509 in United States currency.