2 arrested in $6 million Fla. Ponzi scheme

Dec. 16, 2011 at 7:06 PM
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FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Police in Florida say two men were arrested in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than a dozen investors out of more than $6 million.

Victor Brown, 54, and Roger Green, 78, were detained Wednesday at Broward's Main Jail on racketeering charges with bail set at $150,000, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Friday.

Brown was released on bond Thursday night but Green remained in custody.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began an investigation of the men and the business dealings of their Fort Lauderdale company, Military Air Parts International, after several alleged victims came forward with complaints, a probable cause affidavit said.

Investigators allege from 2004 to 2007, Brown and Green racked up millions of dollars by promising potential investors 18 percent returns on the resale of parts for military transport aircraft, the newspaper reported.

But Green, chairman of the private company, and Brown, whose position with the company is unclear, were in control of company bank accounts and made out checks to themselves withdrawing a total of $1.7 million, and used debit cards to make other "extensive cash withdrawals," the FDLE said.

Brown and Green allegedly kept the Ponzi scheme running by paying off some investors with monies raised from other investors, the Sentinel said.

Thomas Sclafani, Brown's attorney, said he questioned whether the case could even make it to court because the alleged crime occurred beyond its statute of limitations.

"I have a serious question about whether this case can even go forward," Sclafani said. "Even if it does, my client's innocence will be established in court."

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