SEC Obtains Asset Freeze of Turks and Caicos Company Conducting Ponzi Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an emergency asset freeze of a Turks and Caicos company that allegedly ran a Ponzi scheme in Florida. According to the SEC’s complaint, between November 2004 and May 2014, Joseph Laurer and his company, Abatement Corp. Holding Company Limited, defrauded 50 people of approximately $4.6 million. The SEC alleged that Laurer promised prospective investors that the fund would invest in government bonds. Laurer further informed prospective investors that the fund would pay a guaranteed fixed return, with no risk to principal, and that investments were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and/or the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. By early 2007, the SEC alleged, Laurer was running a Ponzi scheme, investing no money in securities and using funds to pay investor withdrawals and personal expenses. According to the SEC, Laurer’s personal expenses included $456,560 real estate purchased in his wife’s name and $594,000 paid directly to his wife.
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Abatement Corp. Holding Company Limited, No. 1:14-cv-23336 (N.D. Fla.).