South Florida properties involved in $85M debt relief scheme head to auction

The defendants allegedly convinced people to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to resolve their debts

TRD MIAMI /
Feb.February 04, 2020 09:45 AM
From left: 3716 Embassy Drive in West Palm Beach and 80 Nottingham Place in Boynton Beach

From left: 3716 Embassy Drive in West Palm Beach and 80 Nottingham Place in Boynton Beach

Two South Florida properties that were allegedly part of a wide-ranging debt relief scheme that scammed 15,000 investors out of $85 million will be auctioned off this week.

Jeremy Marcus (Credit: Twitter)

Jeremy Marcus (Credit: Twitter)

The auction on Wednesday seeks to refund money to victims of the scheme led by Jeremy Marcus, Craig Davis Smith and Yisbet Segrea, who allegedly convinced people to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by falsely promising to resolve their debts and improve their credit scores, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The trio used more than 30 companies to engage in this scheme including Financial Freedom National Inc., Marine Career Institute Sea Frontiers, 321 Loans, Instahelp America, and Helping America Group.

The victims eventually found out that their debts were unpaid, their accounts were in default and their credit scores were lower, forcing some victims into bankruptcy, according to the FTC.

Marcus, Smith and Segrea eventually settled with the FTC in April 2018 and agreed to pay $35 million in assets.

The FTC required Marcus, the ringleader, to surrender about two dozen residential properties; a 2015 Range Rover; a 2015 BMWi; a 5.03 carat diamond ring; Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Louis Vuitton watches; rare coins; a bottle of 1969 Duncan Taylor single malt scotch whisky; and other assets. The three defendants were headquartered in Pompano Beach.

Jonathan E. Perlman of Genovese Joblove & Battista, the court appointed receiver, said he has sold 23 properties so far and recovered $16.3 million.

The two properties to be auctioned off Wednesday are: a 2,209-square-foot townhouse in Boynton Beach at 80 Nottingham Place, in which bids will start at $255,000; and a 0.35-acre vacant waterfront property in West Palm Beach at 3716 Embassy Drive, in which bids will start at $140,000.

The auction will take place at 11 a.m. at the offices of Genovese Joblove & Battista law firm at 200 East Broward Boulevard, Suite 1110, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Perlman is also suing PNC Bank for allegedly aiding and abetting the scheme. He alleges a PNC bank employee directed clients toward Marcus’s fraudulent companies, according to the suit.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
AHS Residential’s Ernesto Lopes (Credit: D Ramey Logan/Wikipedia)

AHS Residential scores $34M loan for apartment project near West Palm

Eric the Jeweler suing Mondrian South Beach owners

Eric the Jeweler blames Mondrian South Beach owners for $2M heist: lawsuit

Howard Wurzak’s development firm is suing over delays and defects at the double branded Dalmar and Element hotel

Fort Lauderdale hotel developer sues Tutor Perini, seeking nearly $12M for alleged delays, defects

360 Rosemary, Stephen Ross

Spaces is moving into West Palm’s 360 Rosemary

Ernesto Weisson and Roberto Cortes allegedly ran the Ponzi scheme with a third partner, Juan Carlos Cortes (not pictured). (Credit: Ocean Reef Club)

Latin American investors allegedly lost $250M in Miami real estate Ponzi scheme: lawsuit

Bradley Colmer, a Sunset Park rendering and 1349 Dade Boulevard (Credit: Domo Architecture and Design and Google Maps)

Judge’s panel rules over Beach Towing and Deco Capital Group’s fight over Sunset Harbour project

A Publix-anchored shopping center sold (Credit: iStock)

Publix shopping center in West Palm sells for $12M

Muse Residences and PMG Managing Partner Ryan Shear (Credit: PMG)

PMG, S2 score victory in legal battle at Muse Residences

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...