jacksonville, florida – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Friday that officers were looking for Cedric Griffin, 47, who has a valid warrant for organized fraud in connection with multiple incidents. The Commission (SEC) has filed a federal lawsuit against Griffin, accusing him of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme aimed primarily at Jacksonville residents.
Griffin promised clients high returns from his house-flipping work, but actually used the money to pay other investors and himself, according to the SEC.
From January 2020 to at least December 2021, Griffin tricked 103 victims into investing at least $5,895,024 in his businesses, G8 Equity and G8 RE Capital, according to the SEC lawsuit. and turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.
Griffin seems to be on the run. He was scheduled to appear in Duval County Court Thursday for a hearing in another criminal case about to go to trial, but he did not turn up.
Griffin’s organized fraud trial was supposed to start in Duval County on Monday.
Griffin’s attorney told I-TEAM on Friday afternoon that he did not know where his client was.
Attorney Jean Nichols, who was not involved in the case, said Griffin has many answers.
“There’s a tremendous amount here,” Nichols said. “This has risen to the levels we see in New York or Los Angeles. There are millions of dollars at stake here, so he has a lot of questions to answer.”
Nichols said the organized fraud warrant issued against Griffin is likely related to a scheme detailed in the SEC complaint. Griffin’s attorney also told I-TEAM he believes the incidents are related.
According to the SEC lawsuit, Griffin was primarily targeting people in Jacksonville, taking potential clients to its Bay Meadows Road office and promising to generate as much as 25% revenue within weeks, according to the SEC lawsuit. The SEC lawsuit alleges that Griffin did not actually use the funds to invest in real estate, but to pay other investors and himself, and over a 13-month period, he was expelled from the “G8” companies for his half a million dollars. Withdraw more than a dollar and donate to luxury retailers, jewelry stores and churches.
It was empty when the I-TEAM visited the address listed as Griffin’s office in court documents on Friday. An employee at a nearby business said he had been away for at least a year.
“Such an investigation from the State Attorney’s Office [and] Investigations from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department take an enormous amount of time because there are so many things involved,” Nichols said.
Griffin was due to appear in court on Thursday as he has already faced three unrelated charges of epic theft that were filed last year.
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https://www.news4jax.com/i-team/2023/05/05/jso-searching-for-man-charged-with-organized-fraud-sec-says-he-ran-a-59m-ponzi-scheme/ JSO looking for suspects in organized fraud. The SEC says he ran his $5.9 million Ponzi scheme.