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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Additional Cay Clubs Executive Charged In Connection With $300 Million Ponzi Scheme Involving Sales Of Vacation Rental Units



Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Michael Stephens, Acting Inspector General, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG), announce that Barry J. Graham, 59, of Ft. Myers, was charged by superseding information with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 371, in connection with a $300 million Ponzi scheme involving the sale of vacation rental units to approximately 1,400 investors in the Florida Keys and elsewhere.

Cay Clubs Resorts and Marinas (Cay Clubs) operated from 2004 through 2008 from offices in the Florida Keys and Clearwater. Cay Clubs marketed vacation rental units for 17 locations in Florida, Las Vegas and the Caribbean, to investors throughout the United States. Cay Clubs would promise to develop dilapidated properties into luxury resorts, and would promise investors an upfront “leaseback” payment of 15 to 20% of the sales price of the unit at the time of closing. Once an investor agreed to purchase a unit, Cay Clubs would arrange for a real estate closing and lender financing, but would not disclose the leaseback payment and other financial inducements to the borrowers on paperwork submitted to lending institutions.

According to the superseding information, Graham was the Director of Sales for Cay Clubs from 2004 through late 2007. During this time, Graham conspired with others to fraudulently inflate the prices of Cay Clubs units through insider sales. Graham and other insiders purchased units from Cay Clubs without disclosing their affiliation with Cay Clubs. Thereafter, these insider sale prices were used on marketing materials to make it appear to investors that the Cay Clubs units were rapidly increasing in price. Furthermore, the information alleges, as Cay Clubs experienced financial difficulties, Graham conspired with others to fraudulently market the Cay Clubs investment to new investors by making false and misleading statements, including by concealing Cay Clubs’ failure to convert dilapidated properties into luxury resorts.

Previously, Fred Davis Clark, Jr., and Cristal R. Clark, a/k/a Cristal R. Coleman, were charged by superseding indictment on September 16, 2014, with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and substantive counts of bank fraud, in connection with the alleged Cay Clubs Ponzi scheme. The defendants were ordered detained pretrial and the matter is currently pending before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Key West.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, ICE-HSI and FHFA-OIG, and the assistance of the SEC Miami Regional Office in this matter. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerrob Duffy.

An information is only an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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.

Updated March 12, 2015