News and Press Releases

Former Fortune 500 Top Executive of Miami Beach Manufacturing Company Pleads Guilty in Multi-Million Dollar Investment Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Claudio Eleazar Osorio, a/k/a “Claudio Osorio Rodriguez,” 54, of Aventura, pled guilty on February 28, 2013, before U.S. District Court Judge William Dimitrouleas. Osorio pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h).

Sentencing has been scheduled for May 9, 2013. At sentencing, Osorio faces a maximum possible statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison on each of the wire fraud conspiracies and 10 years in prison on the conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to documents filed with the court and statements made in court during the plea, Osorio was the owner and majority shareholder of Innovida Holdings, LLC, a Florida limited liability company, located in Miami Beach. Innovida manufactured fiber composite panels for the construction industry for use in residential, commercial, governmental, and other structures without the need for cement, steel or wood. Innovida purported to be a rapidly expanding and financially strong international operation with facilities in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Angola, Tanzania, and other countries.

According to statements made in court, between March 2007 and March 2011, Osorio offered and sold shareholder interests and joint-venture partnerships in Innovida to select individuals and groups, raising more than $40,000,000 from approximately ten (10) investors and investment groups in the United States and abroad. Osorio solicited and recruited investors by making materially false representations and concealing and omitting material facts regarding, among other things, the profitability of the company, the rates of return on investment funds, the use of investors’ funds and the existence of a pending lucrative contract with a third-party entity. Osorio received moneys from investors based on these misrepresentations. Osorio used investor monies for his and his co-conspirators’ personal benefit and to maintain and further the fraud scheme.

According to statements made in court, the second conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to a $10,000,000 loan that Osorio and another applied for and obtained a from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (“OPIC”), a U.S. government agency that promotes U.S. government investments abroad to foster the development and growth of free markets. The purported purpose of the loan was to build a manufacturing facility and 500 homes in Haiti (“the Haiti project”) for displaced families in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. Osorio and others made materially false representations and omissions concerning, among other things, the profitability of Innovida, the purported use of the loan proceeds, an equity contribution to be made by Innovida, and contracts that Innovida purportedly had obtained with third-party vendors. Osorio used the OPIC loan proceeds to repay investors and for his and his co-conspirators’ personal benefit and to further the fraud scheme.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lois Foster-Steers.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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