By Michael Foster, Big4.com Blogger
A former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner has been arrested on charges of fraud.
Claudio Osorio, former president of InnoVida Holdings, was accused of two counts of wire fraud and one count of major fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Miami Office. In addition to felony fraud charges, Osorio and the former CFO of the holding company have also been charged with fraud by the Security and Exchange Commission.
Osorio’s firm declared bankruptcy in 2011 after the firm failed to delivery on promises to build fiber composite panels in new home and building construction projects. Prior to the firm’s bankruptcy, InnoVida earned interest from several high-profile businesspeople and politicians, including Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and brother of ex-president George W. Bush. Governor Bush eventually joined InnoVida’s board of directors, while Osorio was siphoning funds from the company to support his lavish lifestyle, according to prosecutors.
Chicago Bulls player Carols Boozer also invested $1 million in the company. In 2011, Boozer sued for that amount, claiming he had been defrauded by Osorio.
“From his lap of luxury, Osorio concocted a compelling story about InnoVida by recruiting an impressive board of directors and boasting a bogus financial condition to lure investors into funding his scheme of lies,” said SEC’s Miami Regional Office Director Eric Bustillo.
Osorio has been voted Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1997, when he owned CHS Electronics. That firm went bankrupt in 1999, after settling a class-action lawsuit with shareholders and an investigation of international tax fraud.