Miami Resident Charged with Running $4.6 Million Ponzi Scheme, Spending Investor Money on Wedding and Vacations
MIAMI -- South Florida federal prosecutors have charged Judith Dianne Paris-Pinder, 49, with defrauding people out of millions by lying about the nature of proposed investments (soon-to-be paid, lawyer-negotiated insurance company settlements) and the expected rate of return (50%).
Paris-Pinder was the President of Pinder Associates, Inc, a North Miami company. Prosecutors allege that from November 2019 to October 2021, Paris-Pinder used the following fraudulent sales pitch to lure investors into the scheme: She worked with lawyers representing litigation plaintiffs who had settled their claims but were still waiting for actual settlement payments from the insurance companies. Paris-Pinder would use investor funds to advance or lend to plaintiffs a portion of their settlements (less than the full settlement amount). In exchange for the advances or loans, once the litigation plaintiffs received the actual settlement payment from the insurance companies, they would turn that entire amount over to Paris-Pinder. Then, Paris-Pinder would distribute to investors their initial contributions plus any returns – which could be as high as 50%.
According to the charges, however, the entire investment scenario was a scam. Paris-Pinder did not work with lawyers representing litigation clients and there were no settlement agreements. It is alleged Paris-Pinder kept the Ponzi scheme going by using money from new investors to pay existing investors and that, in total, she deceived victims out of over $4.6 million. Paris-Pinder spent about $1 million on herself, paying for her wedding, vacations and other entertainment, say federal prosecutors.
Paris-Pinder made her initial appearance yesterday in federal magistrate court in Miami. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Robert M. DeWitt, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, and Russell C. Weigel, III, Commissioner, Florida Office of Financial Regulation announced the charges.
FBI Miami and Florida Office of Financial Regulation are investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric E. Morales is prosecuting it.
An information is a charging instrument containing allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 22-cr-20452.