By Zuleyka Indarte
The investors involved in a scam operation by the founders of Inversionistas Unidos are fighting back for their money. The group will be protesting in front of the Queen’s District Attorney Office until Friday from 9 am to 1 pm.
Private investigator and victimized investor Gladys Viker accused the investment company of a Ponzi scheme and loan sharking in a recent interview. She stated, “Inversionistas Unidos is a Ponzi scheme and the two persons running this company have disappeared.” Furthermore, she claimed the government is not helping the investors in finding and arresting Oswaldo Patiño and Liliana Henao, the two founders of the company. “We have shown the bounced checks and some other documents to the District Attorney, but they haven’t done anything,” she said.
Investors have lost all communication with Patiño and Henao. When previously instigated about the whereabouts of investors’ money, the two made false claims that have not been followed through. Henao reportedly stated money was in the Federal Reserve Bank “ready to be released” and that there were bonds “ready to be cashed”.
When interviewed recently, Howard Leader, the lawyer contracted by the founders of the company, refused to disclose information regarding the whereabouts of his clients. He stated, “It is not important where they are, but what they are doing. They are trying to pay the money back.”
The company, which imported and exported vegetables and fruits from Latin America, owe money to over 300 Latino investors, many of whom are illegal immigrants and put their life savings into the company. Inversionistas Unidos began running into financial trouble back in January 2010 when they lost $900,000 after an investment with Mario Cospin of San Francisco Bancor in Colombia. The company now reportedly owes investors over 10 million dollars.
The investors are desperate and feel they are getting no aid from the government. “The government must do something and fast. These people are criminals and they want more time to hide themselves and the money they took from us,” said Carlos Londono, one of the investors.
The only answer the District Attorney’s office has given in response to the investors’ cries is, “Yes, we are investigating Inversionistas Unidos, but we haven’t reached a conclusion and nobody has been arrested yet.”