7.28.2009 The SEC obtained a court order to halt an alleged offering fraud and Ponzi scheme being conducted in the Detroit area by two individuals and two companies they control. The SEC alleges that John J. Bravata of Brighton, Michigan, and Richard J. Trabulsy of Northville, Michigan, raised more than $50 million from at least 440 investors by offering them membership interests in a purported real estate investment fund with promised annual returns of 8% to 12%. However, not even half of the money raised was actually spent acquiring real estate, and Bravata and Trabulsy used money from new investors to make Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors. They also spent several million dollars of investor money on themselves and Bravata’s family. The SEC also charged Bravata’s son, Antonio Bravata of Brighton, for selling the unregistered securities and acting as an unregistered broker.

The court issued a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against John Bravata, Trabulsy and the companies they formed, own and control: BBC Equities LLC and Bravata Financial Group, Inc. The court also froze the assets of Antonio Bravata as well as John Bravata’s wife, Shari A. Bravata, who is named as a relief defendant in the case for the purposes of recovering investor funds.

Click http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2009/2009-173.htm to access the SEC press release.