Emerson Pires & Flavio Goncalves cop $45.8M SEC judgment
Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves, co-founders of the EmpiresX Ponzi scheme, have copped a $45.8 million judgment in their SEC fraud case.
Pires’ and Goncalves’ judgment follows the SEC filing for default judgment on June 5th.
The SEC initially sued Pires and Goncalves in June 2022, alleging EmpiresX was a $40 million Ponzi scheme.
As noted in the judgment;
When Pires and Goncalves failed to respond to the (SEC’s) Complaint, a Clerk’s Default was entered against them on April 20, 2023.
By virtue of their default, Pires and Goncalves have admitted the following facts:
In less than two years, EmpiresX raised at least $40 million by selling its securities to thousands of investors.
Defendants told investors that EmpiresX would generate these outsized returns either through a proprietary trading “bot” or by manual trading performed by Nicholas.
These statements were lies. In reality, the bot was fake.
As for the purported manual trading, EmpiresX traded only a fraction of the funds it took from investors, and that limited trading failed to earn anywhere near the touted returns.
Instead, Pires and Goncalves misappropriated large sums of investors’ money for personal uses such as luxury cars, real estate, and travel.
On the money side of things, Pires and Goncalves are being held jointly liable for $32,178,070 in disgorgement and $2,661,610 in prejudgment interest.
Pires has been ordered to pay a $6 million civil penalty. Goncalves’ civil penalty is $5 million.
The SEC has also secured a permanent injunction.
Because of their egregious conduct involving the fraudulent offers and sales of unregistered securities, the Court also enjoins Pires and Goncalves from soliciting any new investors or accepting additional funds from existing investors and prohibiting their issuance, purchase, offer, or sale of any security (except for their own personal accounts).
Pires and Goncalves default judgment brings the SEC’s EmpiresX case to a close.
In addition to the SEC’s now concluded case, the CFTC has a parallel civil case related to the same charges still playing out.
Pires, Goncalves and Nicholas were also indicted on EmpiresX criminal charges in July 2022.
Pires and Goncalves remain wanted fugitives hiding out in Brazil.