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Area man arrested in alleged securities investment scam

Claude Saint Jean is accused of role in alleged affinity fraud investment scheme and acting as securities dealer without a license


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  • | 11:30 a.m. March 5, 2021
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TAMPA — A Tampa man has been arrested and charged with taking part in an alleged affinity fraud investment scheme, according to the Office of Financial Regulation, which investigated the crimes.

Claude Saint Jean faces charges of organized fraud, investment fraud and acting in the capacity of a securities dealer without registration.

Leveraging ties to the Haitian American faith community, Saint Jean is alleged to have operated a pair of affinity fraud investment schemes through Kodo Enterprises Inc., a business he ran.

Saint Jean is accused of pitching securities trades that had a supposed guarantee of principal and high returns, as well as real estate development opportunities promising 15% returns through the Tampa-based company and Club 1804.

Saint Jean allegedly used victims’ money from the schemes for personal use and to make Ponzi Scheme-type payments to investors. He also failed to disclose to his investors that he had previously been barred from the securities industry.

Total victim losses are believed to be in excess of $150,000.

“I thank our investigators for their dedicated efforts in this case, and the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office for their hard work to bring this bad actor to justice,” says Russell C. Weigel III, OFR’s commissioner, in the statement. 

“The Office of Financial Regulation will continue to fight to stop financial scammers from defrauding Floridians.”

The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.

 

 

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