haitian native admits to running ponzi scheme
PHILADELPHIA - Constant Damas, 45, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to two counts of wire fraud in connection with a “Ponzi” scheme that defrauded more than 20 investors out of more than $1 million, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 30, 2013.
Between 2007 through the end of 2012, Damas, who was an account manager at Coca-Cola Company, misrepresented to various individuals, including family members and friends in his Haitian community, that he was an investment manager at Coca-Cola. He told his victims that, through this position, he could invest their money in Coca-Cola’s investment opportunities. In fact, Damas did not hold this position and no such opportunities existed. To entice his victims, Damas often made the following false representations to them: he would collect a sum of money from the victims as their “principle” investment; the victims would receive an interest payment of a certain amount every month; and they could receive their principle payment upon request. Damas, however, did not return the full “principle” investment amount back to his victims, and many of the victims did not receive any of their funds back or any interest payments. Upon his arrest in February 2013, Damas admitted to federal agents that this was a “scam business.”
Damas faces a maximum possible sentence of 40 years in prison, a three-year period of supervised release, a $500,000 fine, a $200 special assessment, and the imposition of full restitution.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Securities Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Murray.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
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PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525