SEC Charges Adviser for Running Ponzi Scheme Targeting Haitian Community

Ad blocking detected

Thank you for visiting We have detected you cannot see ads being served on our site due to blocking. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of data, we cannot serve the requested page without the accompanied ads.

If you have installed ad-blocking software, please disable it (sometimes a complete uninstall is necessary). Private browsing Firefox users should be able to disable tracking protection while visiting our website. Visit Mozilla support for more information. If you do not believe you have any ad-blocking software on your browser, you may want to try another browser, computer or internet service provider. Alternatively, you may consider the following if you want an ad-free experience.

Canadian Insider Club
$299/ year*
Daily Morning INK newsletter
+3 months archive
Canadian Market INK weekly newsletter
+3 months archive
30 publication downloads per month from the PDF store
Top 20 Gold, Top 30 Energy, Top 40 Stock downloads from the PDF store
All benefits of basic registration
No 3rd party display ads

* Price is subject to applicable taxes.

Paid subscriptions and memberships are auto-renewing unless cancelled (easily done via the Account Settings Membership Status page after logging in). Once cancelled, a subscription or membership will terminate at the end of the current term.

Washington, D.C.--(Newsfile Corp. - November 6, 2019) - The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed charges against a New York investment adviser for operating a multimillion-dollar investment club that was actually a fraudulent Ponzi scheme targeting members of the local Haitian community as well as his family and friends.

The SEC's complaint alleges that Ruless Pierre ran an investment club called the Amongst Friends Investment Group that operated as a fraudulent Ponzi scheme. From at least March 2017, Pierre allegedly raised over $2 million from at least 100 investors, predominately Haitian New Yorkers, who purchased high-yield promissory notes through Amongst Friends.  As alleged, Pierre induced investors by promising unrealistically high rates of return of at least 20 percent every 60 days. In reality, the complaint alleges that Pierre incurred heavy losses trading securities and concealed them by using new investor funds to pay older investors and issuing false account statements showing investment gains. Pierre allegedly further financed the fraud by using money that he embezzled from a former employer to make interest payments to investors.

The SEC's complaint also alleges that Pierre fraudulently raised at least $375,000 from more than 15 investors related to a scheme involving the sale of partnership interests in a fast food chain. In or about November 2018, Pierre began to sell partnership interests in a fast food franchise, with agreements that falsely guaranteed monthly returns of 10 percent (60 percent per year) plus quarterly profit sharing. As alleged, at the time he sold these interests, Pierre knew that the franchise could not provide sufficient profits to pay investors the promised returns.

"We allege that Pierre's Amongst Friends investment opportunity that targeted members of Pierre's local Haitian community was built on a foundation of lies and deceit," said Marc P. Berger, Director of the SEC's New York Regional Office. "Investors should be wary of investments promising rates of return that seem too good to be true, and are encouraged to ask questions and check on their investment professional’s background at"

The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charges Pierre with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The complaint also names R. Pierre Consulting Group LLC as a relief defendant.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York today announced criminal charges against Pierre.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Rhonda L. Jung, Teresa A. Rodriguez, George O'Kane, Todd D. Brody, and Adam S. Grace, under the supervision of Lara Shalov Mehraban. An SEC compliance examination that contributed to the investigation was conducted by Thomas Day and supervised by Edward J. Janowsky.  The SEC's litigation is being led by Todd D. Brody. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the El Dorado Task Force of the Department of Homeland Security. 

Comment On!

Upload limit is up to 1mb only
To post messages to your Socail Media account, you must first give authorization from the websites. Select the platform you wish to connect your account to (via Easy Blurb).