Ponzi schemes and business frauds are so hot right now. They're the latest craze among the rich and worldly, so of course we're seeing more of them every day. They're like the new Rolexes or Birkin bags for the recession world: Anyone who is anyone got swindled, and if you didn't, you're just a sad little commoner.
Frederick and Derek Elliott, a father and son from Canada, moved to the Dominican Republic with plans to build a time-share resort, or at least that's what their investors, who forked over $100 million, thought. Instead, the Elliotts used a complicated scheme to use much of the money for their own whims, and racked up yachts, private planes, and a million-dollar gambling debt in Las Vegas. The resort remains unfinished.
In classic Ponzi-scheme style, it's alleged the Elliotts also took some money from new investors to pay off dividends to early investors.
So the approximately 2,500 people who trusted their money to the duo are none too happy with the state of the property (even though they're secretly thrilled to be among the new Ponzi-chic class, we're sure) and took the Elliotts to court, in Miami naturally. The hearing is scheduled for early April.
[Latin Business Chronicle: Dominican Ponzi: $100 Million Loss]
[Dominican Today: Suit filed in US$100M Dominican resorts scam]