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Alleged Ponzi scheme leader lived lavish lifestyle in Naples, according to court documents

Private flights, expensive jewelry and luxury vacations: the lavish lifestyle of a Naples-based businessman is now under scrutiny.
Posted at 6:07 PM, Mar 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-14 18:07:51-04

A court-appointed receiver, working to recover funds from what investigators have described as a Ponzi scheme, says the lavish lifestyle of a Naples-based businessman drained many of the accounts.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Brent Seaman of Naples back in July for fraudulently raising approximately $35 million from at least 60 investors through an unregistered securities offering.

Many of these investors were elderly, retired, and connected to a Naples church where Seaman was an active member, according to the S.E.C.

Court documents show the receiver traced the transfer of at least $20.1 million in investor money to foreign currently exchange trading accounts, with less than $509,000 recovered.

The receiver also found that Seaman, who has settled with the S.E.C. but hasn’t admitted to any wrong-doing, lived a lavish lifestyle with investor money.

The receiver traced more than $8.5 million in investor funds used for personal expenses like private jet charters, luxury ski vacations and expensive jewelry.

“If you drive a nice car, you have a nice suit, it oozes success and it causes people not to ask the right questions. It’s a common pattern,” said Naples attorney Chris Vernon, who is not connected to this case but has handled several similar legal matters.

“Doing this for 30 years, representing receivers, dealing with receivers, that money is likely gone."