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New York identity thief became ‘Dr. Cash’ in Florida for a $5 million fraud, feds say

The website for Greenlight Advantage Group calls chairman and founder Dr. Terrence Cash, “the nation’s No. 1 business, money and wealth coach” and Dr. Cash’s LinkedIn page says he’s been chairman and CEO of the Orlando company since 2010.
Federal court filings by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York say “Dr. Terrence Cash” isn’t No. 1 at anything, but register No. 84672-054 with the federal Bureau of Prisons, a 58-year-old convicted identity thief named Terrence Chalk. The alias cloaked Chalk’s criminal past, the agency’s charge, allowing him to use Greenlight to defraud 40 investors out of $5 million.

Chalk was arrested in Orlando and charged with one count of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud. He is free on bond.

“Chalk offered his services as a ‘financial coach’ to unsuspecting individuals in exchange for thousands of dollars in fees, falsely claiming he had retired after selling his former company for tens of millions of dollars,” the SEC said. “Chalk falsely claimed that he had retired after selling his profitable computer company for $18 million in 2006, and subsequently earned ‘tens of millions of dollars’ as a professional investor.”

Though not retired, Chalk wasn’t doing anything other than time.

THE CHALK BACKGROUND

While CEO of managed services provider Compulinx, Chalk got busted in 2006 on identity theft charges. He’d eventually plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and fraud with identification documents after using personal identification of Compulinx’s employees and clients to secure loans, credit cards, and lines of credit.

Chalk kept hustling from federal prison: The Justice Department said he got cohorts to give enough faux information to a Connecticut BMW dealership “to secure BMW vehicles for, among others, Chalk’s girlfriend and someone who signed a bond to help secure Chalk’s release on bail.”

On Jan. 27, 2010, Chalk has sentenced to three years and four months as well as $750,000 restitution. He was released on Sept. 28, 2012. Court records say he’s paid $3,640 restitution.

RED LIGHT, YELLOW LIGHT ABOUT GREENLIGHT

So, if Chalk is “Dr. Cash,” Chalk was in prison when he claims he started Greenlight.

The SEC filing says Chalk donned the “Dr. Terrence Cash” identity in 2016 when he started the Greenlight Advantage Group and related companies Greenlight Business Solutions Inc., Greenlight Consulting Corp, and Greenlight Investment Partners Inc.

“Chalk concealed his criminal history from prospective clients, using a different last name and mischaracterizing his time spent incarcerated as a temporary retirement,” the SEC filing said. “Chalk also falsely used the title of ‘Doctor,’ despite never receiving a doctoral degree from an accredited institution.”

Cash’s LinkedIn page claims he earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from CICA International University & Seminary in 2017, “based on a productive journey pursuing on-going educational excellence, a lifetime of service to the business community and on-going goodwill to greater humanity.”

Investors who checked out Greenlight would have run into yellow light, if not a red flag: Greenlight, though incorporated in Delaware, operates out of Orlando, but doesn’t appear to be registered to do business in Florida

A search of Sunbiz.com, a state of Florida website, shows many companies named “Greenlight,” none of which have the appropriate details (dates, location, “Terrence Chalk” or “Terrence Cash” among authorized persons). Only a “Greenlight Consulting Group” has the same name as any of Chalk’s Greenlight divisions. A Lauderhill man registered that unrelated company in 2018.

THE ALLEGED SCHEMES

“The majority of Chalk’s clients were not sophisticated investors, and a number were retirees, including former civil servants, who were looking for a way to augment their life savings by implementing the financial advice that Chalk represented…,” the SEC filing said.

In talking to potential investors, the SEC said, Chalk promised a corpulent 12% annual return on “Chairman’s Fund” elite level investments with Greenlight. And, the agency claims, he got clients to move their retirement funds into Chairman’s Fund investments, even if it meant a penalty for early withdrawal.

The SEC said one investor got smacked with a $130,000 penalty and pulled the money out anyway after Chalk said a Chairman’s Fund investment would make up that loss within the year.

instead of using the money to make investments, the SEC said, Chalk took more than $1 million of investor money from the Greenlight bank accounts.

The SEC says he also used more than $700,000 of investor money to pay “personal expenses.”

Those included, according to the Justice Department:

▪ $1.7 million on credit card bills for cards in Chalk’s name, “those of his associates, and business accounts from which clear personal purchases or business purchases wholly separate from investment activity had been made.”

▪ “Tens of thousands of dollars to a criminal defense attorney who had handled a personal matter for him.”

▪ “Over $70,000 to a luxury car dealer;”

▪ “Approximately $30,000 to a retail jewelry retailer;”

▪ “Over $20,000 to an incarcerated prison inmate;”

▪ “Approximately $17,000 to an NBA team for what appear to have been season ticket payments.”

Meanwhile, the SEC says Chalk used new investor money to pay $1.8 million to old investors, Ponzi-scheme style.

By Sanjida Jannat

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