Fort Lauderdale Financial Advisor Pleads Guilty to $16M Fraud
A Fort Lauderdale broker for Liberty International Financial Services (“Liberty”) has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the Southern District of Florida.
According to the plea documents, from January 2010 through October 2013, Salvatore Colonna agreed to participate in a scheme with other co-conspirators to obtain money from investors by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, telling investors that (a) their money would be used to buy precious metals; (b) that they would receive substantial dividends on Liberty investments; and (c) that the defendant would only take a five to fifteen percent commission on investments.
In reality, as Colonna admitted in his plea, Liberty was not using investor money to buy precious metals, Liberty investments would not pay substantial dividends, and the defendant knowingly took commissions on investors’ monies as high as forty percent.
According to the plea documents, investors sent over $16 million in funds to Liberty. Liberty returned only around $3 million to investors. A substantial percentage of the money was used to pay the founders of Liberty and the defendant, who received over $2 million in commissions.
Colonna is scheduled to be sentenced on November 16, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Beth F. Bloom.