UPDATED, July 22, 3:35 p.m.: A Miami family that owns an auto parts supply company alleges it was swindled out of millions of dollars as part of an investment scheme to flip houses.
Cipriani Investments LLC, led by Massimo, Domenico, Antonio and Gianluca Cipriani, is suing Mayelin Tirado, Mario Alfonso Santiago and KMTG Property Management and Investments for allegedly funneling the Ciprianis’ cash into personal accounts in a Ponzi-style scheme. The Cipriani family that is suing is not affiliated with the restaurateur family. They own CA Supply USA, which sells tires, engine oil and auto parts, according to its website.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. The suit seeks to recover $6 million in damages.
Cipriani Investments was created to acquire and sell real estate, and KMTG Property Management and Investments was acting as an investment entity to purchase and flip homes for returns, according to the suit.
But the Ciprianis and investors they brought in never received the returns they were promised, the lawsuit alleges. They began to invest with KMTG in 2018, pumping about $2.4 million into the company to purchase properties in multiple states.
The lawsuit alleges Tirado and her husband Santiago funneled the money into a Wells Fargo account for their personal use. Several of the properties were never purchased, and for those that were purchased, KMTG did not pay the mortgages, taxes or homeowners association fees, resulting in the properties falling into default, according to the suit. All the while, “Tirado and Santiago continued to take monies from KMTG and deposit into their personal accounts,” the lawsuit states.
Tirado and Santiago could not be reached for comment. The Cipriani family declined to comment through their attorney, Armando R. Alfonso of A.R.A Law Group.
Cipriani Investments also alleges that KMTG falsified documents. According to a letter from the Ciprianis’ lawyer to Tirado, attached to the suit, the family even loaned the couple $150,000 that was never repaid.
On July 22, after publication of the article, the defendants’ lawyer, Alexis Gonzalez, said in a statement that “KMTG, Mayelin Tirado and Mario Alfonso Santiago deny and vehemently contest the egregious and libelous allegations” in the lawsuit, and that the complaint is an attempt by the Cipriani family “to cover up its own indiscretions and fraudulent wrongdoings, while siphoning off company funds.”