Philadelphia Investment Adviser Pleads Guilty to Running Ponzi Scheme
PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced today that a Philadelphia investment adviser who bilked clients out of $1.6 million has pled guilty.
Carl Frederic Sealey, 43, chairman of Global Standard Industries Inc. (GSI) and SEK Industries Inc., pled guilty to fraud charges this week in connection with a scheme in which Sealey used his investors’ money to fund his own lavish lifestyle instead of using it to finance real estate deals.
Sealey claimed his company had more than $15 billion in managed domestic assets and another $33 billion offshore. Investors were led to believe that their investment was risk-free and that they would receive their monies back with interest within 90 days. Sealey would then represent to investors that their “deal” had been delayed and that they could get their money back more quickly if they invested additional monies for other “deals” that GSI had underway.
In reality, there were never any real estate closings or business takeovers underway by anyone at GSI. When investors wired monies to accounts exclusively maintained by Sealey, he used a fraction of the monies to pay rent for GSI’s Philadelphia and New York offices and the salaries of GSI staff members, most of whom were retained from a temporary employment agency. Sealey used the majority of the monies received from investors to support his extravagant lifestyle, including hotel accommodations, restaurants, spa services, retail shopping, and other personal expenditures.
“Individuals trust investment advisors with their life savings and thus their families’ economic well-being,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “The defendant blatantly betrayed that trust by making empty promises to investors with the ultimate goal of stealing their money and enriching himself.”
The investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anita Eve.