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Mother, son sued in alleged Florida business fraud

A Naples man and his mother have been sued in U.S. District Court for allegedly running a fraudulent scheme to illegally gain more than $70 million. They stand accused of artificially raising the prices on supplies purchased by foreign companies doing business in the gas and oil sector.

The son and his mother have been accused of a number of complaints: unjust enrichment, conversion, civil theft, fraud and fraudulent transfer, according to the court documents.

They stand accused of using their Florida real estate company to buy property in Collier County in an attempt to hide fraudulent acts.

The two family members were part of a group of that worked with oil and gas-related business in Russia and Kazakhstan. They are accused of not allowing the companies they worked with to buy necessary items directly. Instead, the goods went through intermediaries, each time being marked up in price.

The plaintiffs said the alleged fraud is still under investigation, but that it started to unravel in early 2015. As part of the scheme, the suit contends, the mother put more than $26 million in the real estate company account, where it then was used to buy at least 10 properties to help hide the money.

The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial and a judgment of more than $214 million.

Companies run by honest individuals enter into contracts for goods and services in good faith and expect that the prices charged will be both accurate and fair. When the deal goes awry, pursuing a settlement through the civil courts can provide a remedy.