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PRESS RELEASE


Investment Broker Commits Mortgage Fraud

Straw Buyer Used to Purchase Fla. Home


 
Miami, Fla. - (Nov. 14, 2008) R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael K. Fithen, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Miami Field Office, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, Betty N. Stewart, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Duncan Foster, Chief of Police, Coral Springs Police Department, and Sheriff Al Lamberti, Broward Sheriff’s Office, announced that defendant Anthony Affatati, 36, of Parkland, FL, pled guilty to two separate conspiracies to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1349. Sentencing has been set for January 8, 2009.

According to documents filed with the court and statements made during the plea, Affatati operated various foreign exchange companies, and through brokers, called “introducing brokers,” solicited and handled orders for the purchase and sale of foreign currency option contracts. The introducing brokers for foreign currency option contracts operated under the names Standard FX, Superior FX, Superior 4X, and Hamilton Edwards, and were located in Coral Springs and Plantation FL. Employees of these companies solicited prospective clients and falsely promised them high returns on their investments if they invested in options to purchase Euros. In these sales pitches, the sales teams minimized or entirely failed to disclose large up-front commissions, the companies’ poor performance history, and made other material misrepresentations and factual omissions. As a result of these misrepresentations, 75 clients suffered approximately $2.5 million in investment losses. Anthony Affatati also became involved in mortgage fraud, and purchased his Parkland home through a nominee owner, known as a straw buyer, who provided false financial information to the mortgage lender to secure the loan on Affatati’s behalf.

Anthony Affatati also pled guilty to conspiracy to sell fraudulent securities to the public. In this second conspiracy, Anthony Affatati sold securities of Hema Diagnostics Systems, a privately held company in Miami-Dade County, FL, without knowledge or permission from the company by making his own fictitious promotional literature for Hema Diagnostics Systems. Anthony Affatati kept the investors’ monies for his own use and investors did not receive any stock in Hema Diagnostics.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Coral Springs Police Department and the Broward Sheriff’s Office for investigating this case. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Steve Petri, Harry Wallace and Jeffrey Kaplan.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.


SOURCE: United States Attorney's Office
Southern District of Florida

 
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