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Claudio Osorio Charged in $50 Million Fraud Scheme

Claudio Osorio used to live in a mansion overlooking Biscayne Bay. Now he is being held without bond in the Federal Detention Center in Miami, charged with a scheme to defraud investors and the United States government.

Osorio’s now-defunct company, InnoVida Holdings, supposedly manufactured construction materials for low-cost housing in Haiti, where a 2010 earthquake left more than a million Haitians without homes. InnoVida’s board of directors included former governor Jeb Bush and former presidential candidate General Wesley Clark, and his investors included wealthy neighbors and celebrities such as NBA star Carlos Boozer.

Prosecutors accuse Osorio of defrauding private investors of $40 million, and taking out a $10 million loan from a government agency under false pretenses. He is charged with 23 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to federal officials.

Prosecutors claim that between 2007 and 2010, Osorio overstated the company’s assets and siphoned millions of dollars into his own pocket, financing his $12 million Star Island mansion, a Maserati sports car and a second home in the Colorado mountains.

The $10 million loan was obtained under the pretense it would fund a manufacturing facility in Haiti and enough materials to build 500 homes. Rather than build the factory, prosecutors allege, Osorio used the money to partially repay his investors. Soon after, several investors became suspicious and sued Osorio and InnoVida, which declared bankruptcy in 2011.

Craig Toll, InnoVida’s chief financial officer, has also been charged, but his attorney claims that Toll had no knowledge of the fraud and that he was nothing more than “an honorable employee” of the company. Toll is free on bond.

When prosecutors believe that someone in a company has committed fraud, they often charge the key players connected with the company, whether or not there is concrete evidence that they knew about the wrongdoing. If you or your company has been accused of wrongdoing, you need to consult an attorney with experience in fraud cases.