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Austin man charged in $1.7B 'Ponzi-like' scheme
(Ascendant Capital)

Jeffry Schneider, founder and CEO of the Austin-based real estate investment firm Ascendant Capital, was one of three men arrested on Thursday and charged with defrauding more than 17,000 investors of $1.7 billion in what the Securities and Exchange Commission described as a "Ponzi-like scheme."


"As alleged, by paying investors from an undisclosed and improper source such as investor capital, the defendants repeatedly misled investors about the health and performance of their investments," Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Seth DuCharme said in a statement Thursday.

The trio is tied to the New York private equity firm GPB Capital Holdings. Owner and CEO David Gentile and former managing partner Jeffrey Lash were also arrested and charged, along with Schneider.

Between 2015 and 2018, the defendants allegedly promised investors 8% monthly dividends while using investor capital to make such payments. "Gentile and Schneider were aware that the GPB funds were underperforming and authorized repeated distribution payments that used investor funds to cover income shortfalls, to the obvious detriment of investors," according to a Department of Justice press release.

If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in prison.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also charged GPB with violating whistleblower protection laws by allegedly retaliating against a known whistleblower and including language in termination and separation agreements that impeded individuals from whistleblowing, according to a Thursday press release.

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1923 Lake Austin mansion demolition request pitting preservationists and some neighbors against owner and city preservation office
Austin Monitor

By Jonathan Lee

The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.

The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'

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Freaky Floats and other Austin food & drink news
Austin Motel

What's new in Austin food & drink this week:

  • Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
  • Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
  • Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
  • Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
  • Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
  • Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
  • The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
  • Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
  • P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.