The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Brent Borland (Borland), the owner of a alternative investment firm, with misappropriating approximately $6 million in investor funds that were supposed to finance the construction of an international airport in Belize. The SEC alleges that between 2014 and 2017, Borland sold more than $21 million of promissory notes in two companies – Borland Capital Group LLC and Belize Infrastructure Fund I, LLC – to dozens of investors as bridge financing for development of an international airport in Placencia, Belize. Borland also purportedly promised investors that their investments would be protected by pledges of real estate as collateral.
According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Ahmed Gheith (Gheith) and two other registered representatives of Paulson Investment Company, LLC (Paulson Investment) may have been a referral source to Borland’s fraud. As our firm previously reported, FINRA alleged that two registered representatives informed Gheith about a private offering related to a real estate development in Belize. The investment was described as a short-term note meant to raise money for the development of an airport and Gheith thereafter referred several customers to invest. FINRA alleged that Gheith was paid $93,165 for his role in soliciting and referring the customer.
According to the SEC, instead of using the funds for their intended purpose Borland used millions of dollars of investor funds for personal expenses and unrelated business expenses, including mortgage and property tax payments on his Florida mansion, luxury automobiles, and almost $2.7 million to pay off credit cards.