A Villager who runs an investment firm has been named as a defendant in an emergency action filed last week by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
John Gissas of Retirement Evolution Group LLC of Wildwood appeared to “primarily target investors in The Villages” using newspaper advertisements luring potential investors to lunches and dinners.
He is accused of raising money for Par Funding, whose owners made “opportunistic loans” to small businesses across America – some at interest rates as high as 400 percent, according to the SEC filing.
Gissas has raised more than $5.4 million from at least 62 investors for Par Funding through the offer and sale of promissory notes.
Gissas, who lives in the Village of Gilchrist, is among numerous defendants named in the SEC filing.
“Each Defendant plays a critical and substantial role in the fraudulent scheme to misrepresent and conceal the truth. Each individual Defendant solicits investors to purchase securities – either through an Agent Fund or directly from Par Funding – by scheming and lying. And it continues to this day,” the SEC said.
The SEC suggests that Gissas, who has an office at Freedom Plaza on State Road 44 near Brownwood, is still trying to lure in investors with the lunch and dinner invitations.
“Gissas and Retirement Evolution appear to continue to actively solicit investors, with Retirement Evolution putting a general advertisement/invitation in The Village’s local newspaper as recently as July 2020, for a luncheon seminar about alternative investments with annual returns of 8% and 10% paid monthly, scheduled for the week of July 13, 2020,” the SEC said.
Attorney George Franjola of Ocala is looking for local investors who may have been in touch with Gissas. You can contact Franjola at (352) 812-0462 or by email at [email protected]