The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a former broker, his company and his business partner in an alleged real estate investment scheme utilizing high-pressure sales tactics to pilfer $6 million from retirees and other investors while using the proceeds to fund the broker’s lavish lifestyle and start e-cigarette businesses.
The SEC alleges that Leonard Vincent Lombardo — who once worked at Stratton Oakmont, the firm depicted in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” — operated the scheme from behind the scenes at his Long Island-based company, The Leonard Vincent Group (TLVG), with assistance from its CFO, Brian Hudlin.
Lombardo was barred in 2000 from the brokerage industry for misleading clients and making unauthorized transactions in their accounts, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck. He worked at Stratton Oakmont for less than a year, in 1994, according to his record.
According to the SEC’s complaint, more than 100 investors were defrauded with false claims that their money would be invested in distressed real estate, and some were told their investments had increased by more than 50% in a matter of months when in fact there were no actual earnings on their investments.
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Lombardo allegedly invested only a small fraction of investor money in real estate and used the bulk of it for separate business ventures into the e-cigarette industry and personal expenses such as car payments on his BMW and Mercedes, marina fees on his boat and visits to tanning salons.