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Michigan Broker Faces Charges for ‘Ponzi-type Scheme’

A civil lawsuit was filed against Viktor Gjonaj real estate broker and founder of the firm in question Imperium Group LLC, which collapsed in mid-August after he stopped going to work. No fewer than six lawsuits have been filed against Gjonaj in recent weeks in Oakland and Macomb counties alleging he owes nearly $5 million to a variety of investors and contractors.

A series of Michigan real estate deals that Gjonaj did in Macomb, Genesee and Montcalm counties over the course of the last few years alleges that Gjonaj doctored purchase agreements to make it appear to investors as if they were buying ownership interests in properties around the state, when in fact they were already owned by the plaintiffs, Krstovski and Masakowski.

One lawsuit filed in Oakland County in August states that a loan was made to Gjonaj totaling $1.5 million to buy the Monroe Center retail strip mall. In another complaint, Gjonaj is alleged to have secured a $2.475 million loan from another investor in exchange for membership interests in five limited liability companies, including two — Manchester Wilshire LLC and JVD I LLC — in which neither Gjonaj or his companies had a membership interest, according to court documents.

Still another lawsuit claims Gjonaj hasn't paid for $197,000 worth of work on a $2.25 million mansion that was being built for him in Washington Township that was allegedly purchased with investor money.

Gjonaj’s response to the allegations at this time have been brief. He states that he “lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief" on the veracity of some of the allegations in the August complaint, including: whether there truly was a Ponzi scheme; if Gjonaj has already left the country to avoid prosecution; and if he fraudulently altered (real estate) purchase documents in order to 'sell,' really defraud, unsuspecting investors, interests in those and other properties that did not exist or that Gjonaj did not own.

At this time the case has been brought before civil court and they are accepting additional complaints as they come in.

 


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