February 24, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Authorities are still trying to track down a Jacksonville man who has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.A civil complaint was filed by the SEC against Cedric Griffin, 47, in May that accused him of scamming 103 victims into investing nearly $5.9 million into his businesses, “G8 Equity” and “G8 RE Capital,” from January 2020 to at least December 2021 in what the government said turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.A Texas man involved in a similar tax-related fraud scheme was recently sentenced to prison for his involvement in a job scam twist.

MORE: JSO searching for man charged with organized fraud. SEC says he ran a $5.9M Ponzi scheme

He also had an active warrant for organized fraud in state court and around the same time, was supposed to show up in court for a hearing in another criminal case involving grand theft, but didn’t show.

Since May, federal investigators have been trying to serve him with the SEC complaint. Normally, they have 90 days, but in August, they asked for an extension because Griffin had been “evading” service. The judge granted an extension until Oct. 31.

On Tuesday night, the SEC filed a motion again to ask for an extension because it still can’t find Griffin.

Here is what investigators have been doing since mid-August, to try to find him:

– Surveillance at a specific location where he might be located

– Attempting to find him at business locations outside of Florida, and identifying three additional locations within Florida

– Reviewing court records and testimony in other cases he may be involved in

– Reaching out to potential victims and witnesses for any information that could lead to his whereabouts

– Utilizing technology and databases to track his phone and financial activity

– Working with local law enforcement agencies to assist in the search

– Offering a reward for any information that leads to his arrest and conviction

Despite these efforts, Griffin remains at large and the SEC continues to warn the public about the dangers of investment scams. Victims of the infamous Bernie Madoff scheme are still receiving restitution, and the SEC is continuously cracking down on fraudulent investment schemes.

In addition, the rise of technology has also brought about new forms of scams, such as deepfake scams where individuals are tricked into believing they are interacting with a real person, when in fact it is a manipulated video or audio recording.

Investors should always be cautious and do their research before investing their hard-earned money. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if you believe you have fallen victim to an investment scam, it is important to report it to the authorities immediately.

In a recent case, a Minnetonka homeowner led federal authorities to two men accused in a roofing scam. The homeowner became suspicious when the men showed up at their home unannounced and requested payment for work that had not been completed. Thanks to their quick thinking and alertness, the men were caught and charged with fraud.

It is important for individuals to be vigilant and aware of potential scams, as well as to report any suspicious activity to prevent others from falling victim.

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