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A SPECIAL SECTION: Haiti, Since the January 12, 2010 Fierce Earthquake

Posted Saturday, September 19, 2010  

Three arrested for role in Ponzi scheme targeting Haitian-Americans                                         
By Nirva Shah,
Three people were arrested Thursday for their involvement in an investment scheme targeting Haitian Americans in South Florida.

Those arrested: Irma Jeudy, 62, of Miami, Alix A. Charles, 55, of Orlando and Albertha Frederic, 35, of Baton Rouge, La.

Investigators found that their scheme lured about 200 investors to send about $3 million to a company called Gen-X Comp. Inc. through commercials aired during Creole television and radio programs. The investments promised interest payments that could beat other types of investments, but new customers' money was simply used to pay interest to existing investors.

From 2003 to 2006, the only income the company generated came from money deposited by new investors, who invested amounts from $5 to $20,000 dollars at a time, the Florida attorney general's office said Thursday. In late 2005, the scheme began to run out money, and victims were asked to be patient about interest checks that were bouncing.

In some cases, Gen-X investors were asked to invest in a parallel scheme that promoted the building of homes in Haiti.

If convicted, each defendant could be sentenced to a maximum of 90 years in prison. Additional arrests could be made, the state attorney's office said.
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