Thursday, August 2, 2007

Florida produces new $wampland at astonishing rate

SARASOTA -- A downtown Sarasota firm is at the center of an investment scheme that state and federal investigators say bilked at least 380 mostly elderly Southwest Florida investors out of at least $35 million.

Secured Capital Investments, which did some of its business out of a small Main Street office as Capital 1st Financial, has been shut down by a 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge and placed in receivership.

Investigators with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation say the business advertised high-interest, FDIC-backed certificates of deposit, then persuaded many customers to sink thousands of dollars into high-risk, unsecured debt obligations and unregistered securities. SH_T