U.S. regulators charged a Miami Beach, Fla., philanthropist with fraud for allegedly running a $900 million Ponzi scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday.
The SEC alleges that Nevin Shapiro, the founder and president of Capitol Investments USA, sold investors securities that he claimed would fund the firm's grocery business.
But instead, the SEC accuses Shapiro of running a Ponzi scheme, where he used funds from new investors to pay the principal and interest to earlier investors.
When investors questioned Shapiro's business, he showed them fabricated invoices and purchase orders for nonexistent sales, the SEC said.
According to the complaint, Shapiro used at least $38 million of investor funds to finance other business activities and a lavish lifestyle, including a $5 million home in Miami Beach and expensive clothing.
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