Watchdog: Follow the Money

Two charged in $70 million Florida 'virtual concierge' fraud

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Two South Florida men are facing fraud charges in an alleged $70 million scheme using investments in so-called "virtual concierge" machines that operate in retail stores.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 49-year-old Joseph Signore and 56-year-old Paul Schumack were arrested. Both are charged with several conspiracy and fraud charges. Their attorneys did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

The Securities and Exchange Commission separately obtained a court order freezing their companies' assets and accounts.

An FBI criminal complaint says people were guaranteed huge returns for investing in the machines, which allow users to print coupons, buy products or view advertisements. The FBI says the venture made little money and older investors were being paid with new investor money in a classic Ponzi scheme.

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