Orlando, Fla. (CW69 News at 10) – The owner of multiple companies based in Florida pleaded guilty for his role in what the U.S. Attorney’s office is calling a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme that involves top music recording artists.
Edison Denizard, 40, of Orlando, pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Denizard faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.READ MORE: Hillsborough County Public Schools Avoid State Takeover With COVID-19 Money
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, between March 2016 and June 2017, Denizard raised millions of dollars from dozens of victims who believed that they were investing in specific music concerts through legitimate businesses owned by Denizard and a co-conspirator, Andres Fernandez. The SEC complaint asserts the companies, Kadaae, LLC and Kadaae Entertainment Corp. (together, “Kadaae”), raised $20.7 million from at least 56 investors through an unregistered offering of securities. Over the same period, the complaint alleges, Denizard and his company, Ahead of the Game, LLC, conducted an unregistered offering of securities, raising approximately $10.4 million from at least 78 investors.
Fernandez and Denizard lured investors by guaranteeing them large returns and promising that they would invest all the funds in events by top artists, including Drake, Garth Brooks, Pitbull, The Weeknd, and Maná. In fact, neither Denizard nor Fernandez participated in most of the events.READ MORE: 'A Birthday Present To Ahmaud': Georgia's Citizen's Arrest Law Is Repealed
Denizard used most of the funds he received from investors to pay fraudulent “investment returns” to earlier investors and for his own personal use, including the purchase of a new lakefront residence and luxury hotel stays. The total amount of victims’ losses attributable to Denizard are $7,479,453.
Fernandez previously pleaded guilty to 12 counts of wire fraud and was sentenced earlier this year to 10 years in federal prison.
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