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SEC charges South Florida resident for securities fraud scheme that targeted Haitian community – South Florida Business Journal – The Business Journals

A Palm Beach County resident faces allegations from the Securities and Exchange Commission that she was involved in a securities scheme that defrauded nearly $1 million from investors, many of whom were Haitians and Haitian Americans living in South Florida.
The SEC charged Alexandra Robert, 23, of Lantana, and two companies under her ownership and control with fraudulently raising investor funds through an unregistered securities offering that falsely promised “risk-free” investment returns of up to 48%.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that, from at least May 2020 through August 2021, Robert offered investment programs through Boynton Beach-based Chalala Academy LLC and West Palm Beach-based Lendvesting Academy Corp., two companies she owned and controlled. According to the SEC, Robert and her companies falsely told investors that they would make interest underwriting loans to small businesses that would otherwise not qualify for financing through more traditional lenders.
In order to carry out the scheme, Robert and her companies made several misrepresentations to investors, including claiming on websites and social media platforms to have raised more than $4 million from over 1,000 investors and paid out $2.6 million in profits to stakeholders, according to the investigation. In reality, the SEC alleges that Robert and her two companies fraudulently raised approximately $900,000 from 80 investors, including many members of the Haitian American community. Robert, who is of Haitian descent, used her companies to post promotional social media videos in Haitian Creole encouraging viewers to invest, and relied on word-of-mouth referrals from members of South Florida’s Haitian and Haitian American community, according to the investigation.
The SEC alleges that Robert misappropriated approximately $200,000 of investor funds and used other investor funds to make Ponzi-like distributions. The agency’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, charges Robert and her two companies with violating several federal securities laws.
The SEC seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement of allegedly ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, civil penalties against each of the defendants and an officer-and-director bar against Robert.
The SEC’s investigation was part of the Miami Regional Office’s Fraud Against Minority Groups Initiative.
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