NovaTech FX $2.3 billion RICO class-action filed in New York
A NovaTech FX investor has filed a RICO class-action in the Southern District of New York.
Plaintiff Avis Mullins cites himself as a New York resident and “investor of NovaTech FX”.
Named defendants in Mullins’ proposed class-action are:
- Cynthia Petion, co-founder and CEO of NovaTech FX
- Eddy Petion, husband of Cynthia Petion and co-founder and COO of NovaTech FX
- Ricardo Roy, Cynthia Petion’s brother and CTO of NovaTech FX
- Debora Brasil (aka Debora Brazil), a Florida resident, President of NovaTech FX and “Cynthia Petion’s advisor”
- NovaTech LTD, a St. Vincent and Grenadines shell company
- NovaTech FX, the MLM crypto Ponzi scheme run through NovaTech LTD
- NovaTech Advisors LLC, a Florida company owned by Cynthia and Eddy Petion
- Nova Pay LLC, a Florida company owned by Cynthia and Eddy Petion and Ricardo Roy
- NovaTrading OU – Estonian shell company owned by Cynthia and Eddy Petion
- Frantz Ciceron, New York resident, CEO of Ciceron Frantz & Associates Inc. and Senior Director promoter of NovaTech FX
- Frantz Ciceron & Associates, a New York company alleged to have laundered NovaTech FX investor funds
- Jean Martin Zizi, Georgia resident and Senior Director promoter of NovaTech FX
- Travis Bieberitz, a Tennessee resident, NovaTech FX promoter and “serial promote of Ponzi scheme[s]”
- Bob Saint Louis, a Long Island resident and NovaTech FX promoter
- John Garofano, a NovaTech FX promoter
- Paul J. DeRenzo, a Pennsylvania resident and NovaTech FX promoter
- James Gorbett [sic], a Senior Director promoter of NovaTech FX
Mullins’ proposed class-action was originally filed on February 5th. An Amended class-action Complaint was filed on February 7th.
As alleged by Mullins, each of the individual NovaTech FX Defendants
- directly participated in the management of NovaTech FX and was directly involved in the day-to-day operation of the company at the highest levels;
- was privy to confidential proprietary information concerning the Company and its business operations;
- was directly or indirectly involved in drafting, producing, reviewing and/or disseminating false and misleading statements and information;
- was directly or indirectly involved in the oversight or implementation of the Company’s internal controls;
- was aware of or recklessly disregarded the fact that the false and misleading statements were being issued concerning the Company; and/or
- approved or ratified these statements in violation of federal securities laws;
- knew this was a fraud and intentionally participated in it;
- knew that this was a Ponzi scheme, and that the money paid to investors were not from investment in cryptocurrency, but money from new investors; and
- knew that neither Cynthia Petion nor Eddy Petion had a license from any relevant authority to sale [sic] securities
With respect to the named individual promoters of NovaTech FX, Mullins alleges Jean Martin Zizi held in-person NovaTech FX promo events in Long Island.
Zizi purportedly promoted NovaTech FX through his company Trinity of Success, targeting “people who are unsophisticated and [k]new very little about cryptocurrency”.
Bob Saint Louis, cited as a “self-titled Christian pastor” and Baptist minister, promoted NovaTech FX with his wife Sophia Saint Louis (together, right).
The husband-and-wife pair worked together with other Defendants to recruit investors under them.
In or about 2022, the Saint-Louises, became senior directors of Novatech, having recruited more than a thousand people.
They joined Defendant Zizi and held several large public meetings at hotels in New York City for the purpose of recruiting and defrauding members of the class.
Frantz Ciceron (right) is alleged to have
joined the Ponzi scheme, knowing that Novatech was a Ponzi scheme designed to defraud investors who knew very little about cryptocurrency.
Mullins accuses Ciceron of targeting the Haitian American community in Brooklyn.
Paul DeRenzo is cited as being “in charge of recruitment of [NovaTech FX investors] in Pennsylvania.
[DeRenzo] knew that Novatech was a Ponzi scheme and participated in the crime because [DeRenzo] received a percentage of the money invested.
DeRenzo (right) is another serial Ponzi fraud offender.
In addition to being personally named in Wisconsin’s regulatory action against NovaTech FX, DeRenzo was named in Wisconsin’s recent “global fraud scheme” cease and desist against GSPartners.
John Garofano is cited as a scammer shilling Ponzi schemes on YouTube for the past two years.
James Gorbett is again cited as a NovaTech FX promoter who “knew that NovaTech wa sa Ponzi scheme designed to defraud investors of their money”.
I couldn’t find a “James Gorbett” tied to NovaTech but did come across “Global Ambassador” James Corbett.
I believe this is the individual referenced in Mullins’ complaint with a misspelt surname.
Travis Bieberitz is alleged to have joined Novatech FX in 2019. I was able to confirm his status as a “serial promoter of Ponzi scheme[s].”
Mullins again accuses Bieberitz (right) of targeting “people who are unsophisticated and know very nothing about investment in cryptocurrency”.
Bieberitz, assured prospective investors that unlike the investment that he had promoted in the past, Novatech was neither a scam nor a Ponzi Scheme, and that investors could be confident that the anonymous individuals managing Novatech would never “pull the rug” and steal investors’ funds.
Although she’s primarily cited as being part of corporate and close to Cynthia Petion, Debora Brazil is also accused of personally recruiting “several hundreds of people” into NovaTech FX.
Cynthia Petion’s brother, Ricardo Roy, is cited as “the architect of the Ponzi scheme, designing the computer system that reports the fake returns.”
Roy (right) is also claimed to have been “in charge of the directors and the Senior directors of Novatech.”
If approved, Mullins’ proposed class covers all NovaTech FX victims who signed up and invested between January 2019 and December 2023.
Specific causes of action alleged against the NovaTech FX Defendants across twenty-five counts include:
- Conduct or Participation in a RICO Enterprise through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity
- Acquisition and Maintenance of an Interest in and Control of an Enterprise Engaged in a Pattern of Racketeering Activity
- Use of Income Derived from a Pattern of Racketeering Activity in the Operation of an Enterprise Engaged in Activities Which Affect Interstate or Foreign Commerce
- Conspiracy to Engage in a Pattern of Racketeering Activity
- Breach of Contract
- Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
- Unjust Enrichment
- Conversion / Theft / Embezzlement
- Intentional Misrepresentation
- Civil Conspiracy
- Use of Income Derived from a Pattern of Racketeering Activity in the Operation of an Enterprise under New York Organized Crime Control Act Article 460
- Conduct or Participation in an Enterprise through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity under the New York Crime Controlled (RICO) Act, Article 460
- Acquisition and Maintenance of an Interest in or Control over any Enterprise under New York Crime Controlled Act of 1986
- Conspiracy to Violate the Provisions of Article 460 et seq., of New York Crime Control Act
- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
- Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
- multiple violations of The Exchange Act
Of note is NovaTech FX collapsed in February 2023. The Petions went into hiding in late 2022 and haven’t been seen in public since.
I’ve heard rumblings they fled to Haiti but haven’t seen anything definitive.
What remains unclear is how Mullins intends to serve the Petions with the class-action complaint.
Other irregularities I noted with Mullins’ Complaint include numerous spelling errors and improper formatting.
Requested relief, for example, is sandwiched in between stated causes of action. A unilevel team graphic from BehindMLM is also included in Mullins Complaint without attribution.
Presumably this means, at least in some part, Mullins’ attorney used BehindMLM to research NovaTech FX. This isn’t credited anywhere in the Complaint (typically sources are cited as footnotes).
The case docket notes multiple issues with Mullins’ original complaint, including misspelling of party names. Unless there’s a “James Gorbett” I couldn’t find, party names are still misspelt in Mullins’ revised February 7th Amended Complaint filing.
It also appears that Mullins’ attorney made a demand for $200 billion when filing the original complaint. This was corrected to $9.9 million by the court clerk on February 6th.
While NovaTech FX was absolutely a Ponzi scheme and the Petions and promoters should be brought to justice, I’m getting a bit of a question mark vibe over the longevity of this suit.
Nonetheless I’ve added Mullins’ proposed class-action to BehindMLM’s calendar. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to track the case.