The Florida Office of Financial Regulation today announced that Rebecca Gonzalez and Matthew Braun were arrested for their alleged role in an investment fraud scheme. The duo face charges of organized fraud, securities fraud, selling unregistered securities and sale of securities by unregistered persons.
OFR Bureau of Financial Investigations Chief Steve Horn said, “Thank you to our investigative team, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work in this case. We remain committed to working with our partners to stop financial crime in Florida.”
Gonzalez allegedly solicited investments in Blue Ocean Farm, Inc., by personally visiting elderly victims at their homes, whom she had an established relationship with through a securities brokerage firm where she was previously employed. Blue Ocean Farm, Inc., was a company created by the pair, which had purportedly developed advanced technologies for raising fish for food consumption. However, the investigation revealed that Blue Ocean was a shell company, and that investor money was deposited into a trading account held by Braun. The victims’ investments were largely lost through market trading or used for the personal benefit of Gonzalez and Braun.
To report investment fraud or suspicious activity, please file a complaint with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation online, flofr.com, or call (850) 487-9687.