JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville man filed a new fraud lawsuit Monday against Latitude 360 CEO Brent Brown, saying Brown duped him into trading a $90,000 Aston Martin for stock that is now worthless.
Action News Jax has been investigating accusations of fraud and shady business practices at the entertainment restaurant for six months. Aaron Riley filed the lawsuit in Duval County civil court.
The lawsuit says Brown told Riley Latitude 360 stock was a no-risk investment and he was guaranteed to make a profit.
The lawsuit says Riley was 22 when he sold the luxury car to Brown for 180,000 shares in Latitude 360 in 2013.
Riley said he did not want to do an interview because he fears retribution, but his father Bob Riley was willing to talk about the suit.
Action News Jax asked Bob Riley how his 22-year-old son got an Aston Martin to sell.
“He borrows money from family and so he has some people he owes some money to,” Bob Riley said.
Bob Riley said his family grew up next door to the Browns.
“He trusted Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown lied to him,” Bob Riley said.
The lawsuit alleges Brown failed to disclose millions of dollars in liabilities for the company to make it seem like the stock was a safe investment.
The lawsuit also said Riley was never allowed to sell that stock.
“So I look at this as a car theft,” said Bob Riley.
Jacksonville attorney Chris Carson said it’s completely legal to buy things with stock as long as the seller discloses the stock’s true value.
“If the defendant in the case represented the value in the stocks as being something when in fact he knew otherwise, that potentially can constitute fraudulent behavior,” said Carson.
Action News Jax asked Brown to do an in-person interview to tell his side of the story.
Brown instead texted a response that he would “vigorously defend any allegations or complaint filed against me by this individual [Aaron Riley].”
Brown told Action News Jax to contact his attorney, but would not tell us who that attorney is or how to contact them.
Aaron Riley is one of several sources who tells Action News Jax Brown paid them for major personal and business purchases with Latitude 360 stock they were never able to sell.
Action News Jax reported earlier this week the State Attorney’s Office has confirmed it is investigating Latitude 360.
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