Scott Haire, Aner Menendez, Cleland Ayison, Douglas Hague, and Ryan Coblin were arrested for South Florida after federal authorities accused them of fraud, according to news reports. The defendants were reportedly arrested as part of a group of 13 suspects, some this week and come nearly a year ago, in connection to various federal charges of fraud. Although some of the defendants are from out of state, all of them are subject to prosecution in South Florida, as they are suspected of defrauding South Floridians. It is not clear whether any of the arrested parties has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, the investigations into the alleged fraud instances were conducted by the Southern District of Florida Securities and Investment Fraud Initiative, which was reportedly founded in 2010. It is not clear what kinds of investigative techniques the group utilizes, though sources suggest that record review and undercover agents may be used. The initiative, which is a collaborative effort between several parties (including the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, IRS, Secret Service, Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Trade Commission), was apparently founded to combat the all-too prevalent fraud problem in South Florida.
According to the State Attorney’s office, South Florida is second in the nation in investment and securities fraud, although the initiative purports to have netted over $1.5 billion in fraud restitution since its inception. It is not clear how many of the alleged victims of the fraud are considering or have already filed charges against the defendants.
The press report indicates that Haire, the president of Wound Management Technologies of Coral Springs, Florida, was charged with investment fraud after conspiring to manipulate share prices and trading volumes for the stock of his company. Though the details of the alleged crime have not been released, the report indicates that authorities expect Haire to turn himself in on June 6. It does not appear as though Haire as spoken publicly about the charges.
Similarly, Aner Menendez was indicted for investment fraud after federal authorities accused him of taking over $900,000 in investor funds for himself. Reports indicate that Menendez, who was the ‘sole member and manager’ of a Key Biscyane, Florida firm called De Forcade, allegedly took the funds while masquerading as a foreign currency speculator. He allegedly ‘exploited social relationships to convince his victims to invest their savings with him’ but ‘made no investments for victims, instead spending their savings on himself and others.’ Menendez was apprehended on Monday, sources indicate.
Many of the locally charged parties were company presidents, or held similar positions. Aside from those mentioned above, Douglas Hague (president of Clean Coal Technologies) and 42-year-old Ryan Coblin (who presided over Delivery Technology Services) were also indicted. According to the press release, Coblin was arrested in September of last year for attempting to bribe a hedge fund fiduciary in an attempt to purchase overpriced stock using hedge fund money. Coblin reportedly pled guilty to the charges in March. Hague, on the other hand, was charged just days ago, on June 1, with the almost identical crime of bribing a fiduciary in order to induce the purchase of overpriced stock. Hague does not appear to have commented publicly on the incident.
Finally, George Elia, who was arrested about a month ago after an international search, was listed among the defendants in the press release.