A former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner who was indicted and arrested on federal fraud charges today also faces civil charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he defrauded investors in his company of at least $8.1 million.
Clausio Osorio stole the money and used it to support a lavish lifestyle that included a multi-million-dollar mansion, a Colorado retreat home and a luxury sports car, the SEC alleges in its lawsuit.
The SEC alleges that Claudio Osorio, 54, of Adventura, Fla., raised at least $16.8 million from investors by portraying his home building materials company, InnoVida Holdings LLC, as having millions of dollars more in cash and equity than it actually did. The SEC claims Osorio stole nearly half of the money raised from investors to pay the mortgage on mansion and for other luxuries.
The SEC has also named as a defendant InnoVida's chief financial officer, Craig Toll, 64, a certified public accountant from Pembroke Pines, Fla., who allegedly helped Osorio create the false financial picture. Toll also faces federal fraud charges.
The SEC's complaint, filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleges the scheme began in 2007 and lasted until 2010. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida is handling the charges against Osorio and Toll.
The SEC claims that Osorio offered bogus share prices to prospective investors based on false valuations. He told one investor that InnoVida was valued at $250 million, and then a week later told a different investor that the company was worth $50 million. The latter investor purchased $100,000 of Osorio's stake in the company for five cents per share, according to the SEC.
The SEC's complaint seeks the foreifture of any ill-gotten gains, financial penalties, and injunctive relief against InnoVida, Osorio, and Toll to enjoin them from future violations of the federal securities laws. The complaint also seeks an order barring Osorio and Toll from serving as an officer or director of a public company.