Two men have been arrested for operating a Hollywood boiler room operation that allegedly sold fake precious metals totaling more than $2 million to investors across the country, many of whom were senior citizens.
Manuel Frade, 38, of and Angel Quinones, 53, were arrested last week by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and charged with one count each of organized fraud and grand theft and two counts of securities fraud in connection with the scheme, according to Florida Office of Financial Regulation, which announced the arrest on Monday as part of a months-long investigation by the OFR.
The Broward County State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.
Frade and Quinones are accused soliciting investors through their Hollywood-based company, Integrated Market Capital Investments, doing business as Midas Asset Exchange in Hollywood. After making the investment with Midas Asset Exchange, investors typically received account statements showing the alleged purchase of metals.
Investors claimed that Frade and Quinones led them to believe that the metals listed on the account statements would be stored for them in a vault or other safe place until such time as they desired to sell.
The investigation revealed that only a small portion of investor money was used to trade possessory rights to precious metal inventory, and none of it was used to purchase or store the physical metals. Instead, the majority of the money obtained from investors is alleged to have been used to pay business expenses and for the personal benefit of Frade and Quinones.
“Thanks to the effective partnership between the OFR and the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, these alleged criminals can no longer continue to target our nation’s senior citizens by attempting to separate them from their hard earned dollars,” said OFR Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear, in a news release.
“The best way to protect your money is to first do your homework,” said OFR Commissioner Breakspear. “All potential investors should research any financial products fully and verify the company or individual you plan to do business with beforehand.”