Update: Daniel Filho has been arrested in Boca Raton, Florida, after evading arrest for more than two weeks. – Source Department of Justice Massachusetts

The DFRF Enterprises scam has been shutdown by the Securities and Exchange Commission for operating a pyramid and Ponzi scheme which falsely promised a gold mine of investment opportunity to investors in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities in Massachusetts, Florida, and elsewhere in the U.S.

DFRF Enterprises, named for its founder Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho, claimed to operate more than 50 gold mines in Brazil and Africa, but the company’s revenues came solely from selling membership interests to investors and not from mining gold.  With the help of several promoters, they lured investors with such false promises as their money would be fully insured, DFRF has a line of credit with a Swiss private bank, and one-quarter of DFRF’s profits are used for charitable work in Africa.  The scheme raised more than $15 million from at least 1,400 investors by recruiting new members in pyramid scheme fashion to keep the fraud afloat, and commissions were paid to earlier investors in Ponzi-like fashion for their recruitment efforts.  Filho has withdrawn more than $6 million of investor funds to buy a fleet of luxury cars among other personal expenses.

Here is a picture of one of those cars.  Filho is on the left.

Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho and Emerson Fittipaldi

DFRF and its operators falsely claimed that they were running a lucrative gold mining business when in reality they were operating a Ponzi and pyramid scheme that preyed on investors in particular ethnic communities who stand to lose millions of dollars.

Filho is a Brazilian native who lives in Winter Garden, Fla., and he orchestrated the scheme with assistance from six promoters also charged in the case: Wanderley M. Dalman of Revere, Mass.; Gaspar C. Jesus of Malden, Mass.; Eduardo N. Da Silva of Orlando, Fla.; Heriberto C. Perez Valdes of Miami; Jeffrey A. Feldman of Boca Raton; and Romildo Da Cunha of Brazil.

Filho and others began selling “memberships” in DFRF last year through meetings with prospective investors primarily in Massachusetts hotel conference rooms, private homes, and businesses.  DFRF promoted the investment opportunity through online videos in which Filho falsely claimed that the company had registered with the SEC and its stock would be publicly traded.  As DFRF’s marketing reach widened, membership sales dramatically increased from under $100,000 in June 2014 to more than $4 million in March 2015 alone.

– Source SEC

It is great to see the DFRF Enterprises scam shutdown.