About 300 homes are about to hit the inventory-starved Tampa Bay real estate market. That’s thanks to federal government efforts to recover money lost by hundreds of elderly investors in what it contends was a Ponzi scheme.
The accused fraudster is a company called EquiAlt, led by Tampa real estate investor Brian Davison.
Davison, with EquiAlt’s managing director Barry Rybicki, raised the money from more than 1,100 investors nationwide, and promised that “substantially all” of it would be used to buy distressed properties to yield “generous returns,” according to the civil action filed last year by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Instead, returns were less than expected, according to the court documents, and EquiAlt “resorted to fraud.” Davison and Rybicki used new investor money to pay the returns of others, and “paid themselves millions … and spent it on luxury automobiles, fine jewelry and chartering private jets,” the…