Fabio Bretas de Freitas of Miami, Florida, was arrested on fraud and identity theft charges for allegedly misappropriating more than $5.5 million. He also allegedly attempted to deceive federal regulators and he impersonated a victim-investor.
The 53-year-old was taken into custody on December 6 and was then scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge.
“The defendant obtained more than $5.5 million from people who invested their money in good faith. But as alleged, instead of investing those funds as he had promised, the defendant used it to cover his own personal expenses, even going so far as to impersonate one of his own victims to deceive investigators,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., the assistant director in charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI. “Bretas’ arrest should serve as a stark reminder that those who seek to manipulate our financial systems for their personal gain will be identified and disrupted.”
Bretas faces several charges. He may serve a mandatory two-year sentence if he is convicted for aggravated identity theft. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison for a commodities fraud charge, up to 20 years in prison for a wire fraud charge, and up to 20 years in prison for bank fraud. His potential convictions involve the two investment companies he managed; Phynance Capital Management LLC and Absolute Experience LLC.
Bretas allegedly made misrepresentations to investors about the kind of trading activity that took place and used a large portion of the money he brought in for his personal usage.
In 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Futures Association started an audit of the Phynance Capital and Absolute Experience, and when Bretas found out, he allegedly tried to trick regulators by impersonating a victim-investor through the use of a fraudulent email account.
Bretas also allegedly lied to the auditors, falsely claiming that the investments with Absolute Experience were loans to his company. He also allegedly lied about the use of funds and solicitations of the investments. Investors may be able to bring claims against Freitas in NFA arbitration to try and recoup their losses.
Silver Law Group is a nationally-recognized securities law firm headquartered in South Florida representing investors worldwide with their claims for losses due to securities and investment fraud. The firm has successfully recovered multi-million dollar awards for its clients through securities arbitration and the courts. To contact Scott L. Silver to discuss your legal matter, call toll-free (800) 975-4345 or e-mail him at SSilver@silverlaw.com.