74 Months In Prison For Securities Fraudster Who Targeted Foreign Investors

February 25, 2013

A picture taken on February 8, 2011 in Rennes,...

According to federal prosecutors, starting around 2005, Cliffe R. Bodden, 49, Lake Mary, FL, and S. George Milter, 33, New York, NY, respectively held themselves out as the:

  • (Bodden) Managing Director of Lempert Capital Management, Ltd., a corporation purportedly incorporated in the Cayman Islands; and
  • (Milter) Chief Executive Officer of Lempert Brothers International U.S.A., a registered broker-dealer in Manhattan purportedly managed by Lempert Capital, and as the President and CEO of Lempert Capital.

Bodden and Milter allegedly told foreign investors that their funds would be invested in U.S. financial markets by Lempert Brothers through Lempert Capital and that all such invested funds would be frozen and the balance returned if the value of the investments dropped over 20%. Lending some apparent credibility to these representations were the facts that Lempert Brothers was a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") member firm, registered with the Securities And Exchange Commission, and a member of the Securities investor Protection Corporation.

Once in possession of over $1 million from foreign investors, Bodden and Milter purportedly deposited the funds into banks accounts under their control and divertd the money for their personal use - in part through transfers to Milter's family and to Bodden-affiliated entities.

Prosecutors allege that Bodden and Milter resorted to deceiving investors with false assurance that their funds had been invested and were earning substantial income - a deception furthered through the transmission of allegedly fraudulent account statements. Moreover, investors' requests for withdrawal of their funds were apparently responded to with all sorts of fanciful explanations as to why such redemptions couldn't be presently undertaken - for example, one effort at deflecting the return of funds was that investments had been made in companies pending an initial public offering and, wouldn't you just know it, but that rendered the subject funds illiquid.

Following the unsealing of a two-countIndictment, USA v. S. George Milter and Cliffe R. Bodden, Defendants (SDNY, 12-CR-291), alleging one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud against Milter and Bodden in federal court in Manhattan, on September 12, 2012, Bodden pleaded guilty to the two counts and faced up to 40 years in prison (20 years per count) and he agreed to a $946,509 money judgment representing the proceeds of his crime.

On February 22, 2013, Bodden was sentenced to 37 months in prison on each count and said sentences will run consecutive for a total term of 74 months plus two years of supervised release. Bodden was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine, $200 special assessment, and the previously referenced restitution/forfeiture of $946,509.

NOTE: The charges against Milter are pending. An Indictment merely contains allegations against a defendant, who is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.