MIAMI (AP) - A Miami businessman has been charged with defrauding more than 150 investors, including a Jesuit school through a real estate scheme.
Court records filed Wednesday show that 73-year-old Gaston Cantens faces up to five years in prison if convicted of wire fraud conspiracy. He previously denied any wrongdoing when sued in 2010 by the Securities and Exchange Commission over related issues.
Prosecutors say Cantens promised investors high returns from investments in Southwest Florida land deals but left out key facts such as the financial health of the business. Prosecutors say Cantens frequently paid older investors with money from new investors.
The investors included a Miami school Cantens attended, Belen Jesuit Preparatory School. Some other investors were also Belen graduates and many were elderly. Prosecutors say investors lost $47 million.
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