Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Scam Absurdities: Birds of a Feather Flock Together, or the Rodrigues and Filho financial links

There was an old saying: Birds of a Feather, Flock Together

Basically means: like attracts like.

So how does this apply to Ponzi schemes? One needs to look no further than Sanderlay Rodrigues De Vasconcelos aka "Sann Rodrigues", and his ties to Daniel Rojo Filho.

For those of you who don't know "Sann" Rodrigues... he used to go by the title "First Millionaire TelexFree US". That's right... he's a "net winner" in the TelexFree scam in both Brazil and the US. Previously he operated a Ponzi scheme called FoneClub that was shut down by the SEC around 2006. Oh, gee, now here he is again, a top leader in ANOTHER Ponzi scheme, TelexFree, shut down by the the SEC! But it gets better. At the time Sann was in Brazil, and he simply came up with a new scheme... called iFreeX.  And within a few months Massachussetts called it suspect Ponzi, which apparently prompted Brazilian authorities to raid his recruiting seminar and invited him downtown for a long chat.  He was released but apparently under travel restrictions, roughly March 2015 or so.

MLMSkeptic was immediately reminded of the circumstances how half of the TelexFree US, Carlos Wanzeler, escaped the country... by driving into Canada ahead of the authorities with his daughter, leaving his wife behind, and from there they flew to Brazil, where they cannot be extradited against their will (as per Brazilian constitution. Wanzeler still holds Brazilian citizenship). When his wife Katia Wanzeler tried to join them she was arrested at the airport by Federal agents, minutes before she got on the plane.  She had previous told Federal agents serving a search warrant on the Wanzeler house that Carlos is staying at a hotel when it was later discovered that when she told the Federal agents Carlos and daughter was in fact heading toward the Canadian border in a car registered to her company.

But we're here to talk about Sann Rodrigues... Any way... Apparently Sann Rodrigues managed to get himself out of Brazil despite Brazilians told him to not go anywhere. So when he disappeared, Brazilian authorities put out a Interpol Red WANTED notice:

Interpol Wanted Notice for Sann Rodrigues
So when he showed up in Newark, New Jersey (yes, in the US) getting back into the US... He was promptly arrested for VISA fraud. He had apparently neglected to mention that he was arrested for Ponzi scheme back in 2008 or so... among other problems. He posted bail, had his passport (and those of his family) confiscated, only to be arrested AGAIN for the Interpol warrant. He spent another weekend in jail until Brazilians eventually responded "you can keep him for now".

Okay, so what does this have to do with Daniel Rojo Filho? And who is Daniel Rojo Filho? Pretty complex guy... and "ambassador of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel", according to a Mexican article.

Ah, but you see, Daniel Rojo Filho is, in many ways, what Sann Rodrigues aspire to be... Filho was named by a Mexican magazine as "ambassador" of the Sinaloa (drug) Cartel since 2010. Before then, he was suspected of operating a cartel front company called DWB Holdings alongside partner Pedro Benavides. When DEA and IRS raided the place Benavides got most of the blame and jailtime. Filho just lost a bunch of money, but by then he's used to the lifestyle of the rich and famous, and purported owns many exotic cars including a gold laminated Lambo, among many other exotic cars. Filho went on to create a Ponzi scheme called DFRF Enterprises, with outlandish claims of owning mines all over the world, partnerships with Swiss bank and other special investment avenues, and so on and so forth. Turns out it was all a lie, as Filho was arrested in Florida in July 2015.

This is when it got interesting, as it appears that Filho and Rodrigues may have known each other... As several DFRF victims testified that Sann Rodrigues promoted DFRF to them.

Back in April 2014, TelexFree went kaput, and all the leaders including Rodrigues got their assets frozen.

Rodrigues, desperate for some cash, had a firesale of his "Five Star Investment and Properties" to none other than Daniel Filho, in exchange for 300K USD. At the time, Rodrigues claimed to be not aware of the freeze, and Filho apparently didn't ask questions.

Filho then transferred the Five Star and its assets to a guy named Joel Nunez to settle some previous dealings, in exchange for Nunez paying another guy. Luiz Trinidade, also involved with Five Star. As far as Trinidade knows, the Five Star properties are vacant.

Imagine Joel Nunez's surprise when he went to inspect properties he thought was his... and find Rodrigues and family living on two of those properties. And now Rodrigues is upset because he claimed that he had given the properties to Filho as INVESTMENT, and was not supposed to be transferred or sold.

Filho ended up paying 200K to Nunez, basically buying the two houses Rodrigues and family lived in and gave it back to Rodrigues, which is probably well below market price.

All that was documented here. And now the money gets thoroughly muddled, as the properties are now involved in no less than TWO ponzi schemes... TelexFree, and DFRF.

But wait, there's ANOTHER link between the two alleged Ponzi schemers...

SEC is seeking contempt charges against Rodrigues, because he apparently transferred two of his exotic cars (a Lambo and a Fisker, together should be worth 200K) to his attorney... AFTER his assets were ordered frozen. Both Rodrigues and attorney claimed this was done to settle retainer fees. SEC, however, see it as attempt to hide assets, as the attorney put down the value of the Lambo at 30K when it's valued at well over 120K, for registering the title. The other car was written down as value for 20K when it's believed to be worth 80K.

And the Lambo was previously owned by none other than Daniel Rojo Filho. However, it is not known how did the Lambo ended up in Rodrigues' possession after Filho owned it.

While there's no DIRECT documented connections between Rodrigues and Filho other than documented above, it seems rather obvious that there is probably more than meets the eye.

And for the sake of the victims in both TelexFree and DFRF, let's hope the authorities get to the bottom of this ASAP.

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