Miami developer Sheppard pays settlement in Nevin Shapiro Ponzi scheme suit

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Eric Sheppard, who developed Miami Beach’s Canyon Ranch, this Wednesday agreed to pay a $700,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit alleging that he was an active participant in Nevin Shapiro’s Ponzi scheme, according to the Miami Herald. The lawsuit claimed that Sheppard used his development company to funnel $40 million into Shapiro’s fraudulent Capitol Investments USA. Sheppard has denied the allegations, claiming that he was scammed like everyone else. “Our view from the get-go was that Eric was a victim in this Ponzi scheme, based on a long and trusting friendship,” said Peter Russin, Sheppard’s attorney. “But with all litigation, it’s extremely expensive. He essentially paid what it would have cost to defend the litigation to make it go away.” The lawsuit argued that Sheppard and Shapiro were old friends who attended grade-school together and shared office space, with Sheppard ultimately lending WSG money to Shapiro in exchange for favors. [Miami Herald]