Charlotte business owner indicted in Ponzi scheme

Charlotte business owner indicted in Ponzi scheme

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte man accused of gaining more than $1 million in a Ponzi scheme was indicted this week.

Nickolas M. Godfrey is accused of operating the Ponzi scheme through his company Coast to Coast Business Funding, which he falsely represented was successfully generating substantial revenue by providing short-term cash advances to businesses.

Godfrey reportedly collected more than $1 million from at least 20 victims and attempted to solicit additional funds.

Godfrey is also accused in a tax evasion scheme from 2008 to 2015. He owned NJ Holdings, LLC, which he used in connection with Coast to Coast Business Funding to operate his Ponzi scheme, court document show.

He also owned and operated Alter Ego Salon and Day Spa and Blis Day Spa and Salon in Charlotte.

"Godfrey engaged in a scheme and artifice to defraud victims by making a series of false and fraudulent representations and deceptive half-truths of material facts, and concealing material information about his business Coast to Coast Business Funding," court documents state.

He's accused of falsely representing the returns his victims would earn, saying they would earn as much as 73.5 percent if they invested in Coast to Coast, and that their money would be used to fund the cash advances, court records state.

"Contrary to what he had promised, Godfrey used new victim money to, among other things, make personal expenditures, pay business expenses of Blis and Alter Ego, and make Ponzi-type payments to earliest victims," court documents state.

In Dec. 2012, after some victims demanded more information in regards to missed payments, Godfrey "created bogus financial statements" and provided them to the victims, according to records. Godfrey is also accused of providing the victims with a fake "Recovery Plan."

Around July 28, 2015, Godfrey met with officials from the SC Attorney General's Office who were investigating the Ponzi scheme, where Godfrey again made false and misleading statements, court documents state.

Godfrey is also accused of failing to pay the IRS a "substantial amount" of employment taxes from Blis Day Spa and Alter Ego employees.

He was also the subject of a cease and desist letter from the Attorney General in 2016.

Godfrey was indicted on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud money laundering, and tax evasion.

He is subject to forfeiture in the amount of at least $484,322.58, the indictment reads.

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