- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

MIAMI (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a court order freezing the assets of an alleged South Florida fraud scheme operated out of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The SEC said Wednesday the assets of Abatement Corp. Holding Company Ltd. have been frozen. Authorities say the company and its chief executive, Joseph Laurer, raised more than $4.6 million from about 50 investors mainly in South Florida.

Investors were promised guaranteed returns and little risk, but the SEC says Laurer was operating in a Ponzi scheme by using money from new investors to pay older ones and to pay his own expenses.

Laurer died on May 15, 2014. He was a member of the city of Homestead’s employee pension board and president of the South Dade AARP chapter.

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