Parkland Man Operates a Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme Alleges Attorneys, Victims
Gil J. Peter of Parkland, Florida.

By Sharon Aron Baron

Victims from around the U.S. allege that a self-proclaimed venture capitalist from Parkland has cost them millions in promised returns for investments they made with him.

They allege Gilbert J. Peter Jr.’s wealth is all a facade and that he finances his opulent lifestyle on the backs of investors, including two million-dollar homes in Parkland and Pompano Beach and private school tuition at North Broward Prep for his children, all while promising high returns on investments.

When victims try to get their investments back, he consistently gives excuses or bounces checks and accuses his office manager of embezzling their funds, they allege.

Although there are documented judgments, lawsuits, and court orders against Peter, victims allege he continues to attract people into various “investment opportunities.”

Derek Andersen

In 2016, Parkland resident Derek Andersen met Gil J. Peter while coaching six and seven-year-old flag football.

According to Andersen, Peter seemed like a friendly guy. As they got to know one other, Andersen told him about his son, who needed a follow-up surgery to correct a bone cyst in his femur as the first one had been unsuccessful.

Peter said he had connections at the University of Miami and offered to help and was praying for Andersen’s son and the family.

“I thought, ‘What a great guy,'” said Andersen.

As Andersen and Peter got to know one other, Peter told him he was a venture capitalist.

Intrigued, Andersen said he wanted to know more, and after several months Peter told him he had a great investment.

“He said it was the real deal,” said Andersen. “He told me he’d never put my family at risk.”

Peter presented the investment as one that was ripe to offer payback, had already been through growing pains, and was full of cash flow and equity.

If you want to do this, he told me you have to jump on it quickly, said Andersen.

The investment was in My Doc Urgent Care, located in a strip center at 210 Passaic Street in Garfield, New Jersey.

Because it was an area Andersen had wanted to get into, he gave Peter a lump sum payment of $150,000.

Less than days 30 days later, Peter told Andersen that he had one more spot for an equity investor and needed more money to buy equipment for the urgent care center.

If Andersen put in $100,000, Peter said he would put in the additional $50,000. The $100,000 would be treated as a loan that would be repaid, he assured Andersen.

“In writing, he personally guaranteed he would pay me back in 30 days. Plus, he said he’d give me 1% additional equity in the company for helping him out,” said Andersen. 

Jenny Alfonso

For Jenny Alfonso, who had children in preschool with Peter’s, the opportunity he presented was to help her offset some of the medical costs for her son, who had Type 1 diabetes, requiring ongoing medical care.

“He just seemed real down to earth and humble,” said Alfonso, which was in stark contrast to his multi-million mansion in Parkland and over-the-top parties.

She met Peter through his second ex-wife Lauren. The preschool classroom and parents were invited to their house to meet around the start of the school year.

According to Alfonso, the couple lived in a $1.8 mansion near the Parkland Equestrian Center and put on a party with bounce houses, a cleaning crew, and tons of food and drinks.

“He was super nice and always chatty about general topics,” adding that she knew his life wasn’t always that way, and he genuinely wanted to share his lifestyle with friends.

Peter, now 61, told her he accomplished this type of lifestyle after living in an efficiency in his 40s.

His pitch to Alfonso was a rare opportunity to own one percent in a business called Doctor Doctor, a limited liability company registered in Wyoming and located at 210 Passaic Street in Garfield, New Jersey.

Because Alfonso worked in health care, she knew that the 50 patients a day Peter claimed the clinic was seeing would make it a very profitable investment.

“Clinics that see 20 patients a day make decent money, so I knew that 50 a day must mean that they are doing things right, and this investment would be a no-brainer,” she said.

Peter told her he could guarantee a minimum 24 percent yearly return on her investment, as they were currently making a 30 percent return.

On August 9, 2019, she borrowed against her 401(k)  and wired him $50,000.

Derek Andersen

After 30 days and no repayment of the loan, Andersen asked Peter what was going on.

What he got next was a host of excuses.

“He was very mad that I questioned his business practices. He told me the best he could do is get me $12,000,” he said.

A few days later, and with a cooler head, Peter asked Andersen to give him another week. He needed to sell some stock to get the balance owed to him.

That proved to be yet another excuse to delay the repayment process, said Andersen.

Initial dividends had stopped coming, and when Andersen’s father-in-law was battling cancer, he badly needed the resources to help.

Peter repeatedly assured him the money was coming.

“He kept saying, ‘I’ll get it to you. I’d never screw you and your family over. My prayers to your wife’s family.’”

“It was just more lies,” said Andersen.

Peter told him he would mail a check from the N.J. business for $84,000, instead of sending a wire transfer, which Andersen believed was odd. Because of his suspicion, Andersen demanded a photo of the check and the envelope.

“Good thing I asked because the address was conveniently off by one digit,” said Andersen.

When he finally received the $84,000 check, it bounced due to insufficient funds.

According to Andersen, what happened next shocked him.

“He begged me via text messages, ‘Please keep this between us. I am so (expletive) embarrassed. In 30 years of doing business, this has never happened before. Please don’t tell anybody.'”

Andersen, who saved all of his texts, said in those messages, Peter told him many times, “As soon as I can get other investors to put in money, then I can pay you.”

Until that comment, the excuses always seemed just believable enough to Andersen.

“The long-list of excuses were fishy but never out of the ordinary.”

However, Andersen became very concerned when Peter said he needed to bring other investors on board.

“It started to sound like one of those horrible Ponzi schemes,” said Andersen.

Several months later, Andersen states that when Peter got angry at the continual questioning of his alleged flawed business tactics, Peter claimed Andersen was not fit for this type of investment and said he would buy Andersen out.

Peter signed the buyout contract and mailed Andersen another check for $175,000.

It too bounced due to insufficient funds.

Jenny Alfonso

Almost 12 months after her initial investment, Alfonso had yet to see a single dividend.

“When I called after the first three months, he told me that the company had decided to issue dividends every six months because it was easier and a lot less paperwork,” she said.

Six months came and went, and another call. This time Peter told Alfonso that the company was now going to issue yearly dividends.

When Alfonso told Peter that she wanted out, he told her she couldn’t get out.

According to her, Peter said the only time they make an exception is when someone has cancer.

Alfonso continually reminded him that she had borrowed against her 401k and needed the money to make the payments and mentioned “several times” that the money could be used towards her son’s medical needs.

More texts and phone calls ensued, and more frustrating excuses such as kidney stones, a bank merger, or a bank holiday on a Monday.

September 30, 2021 voicemail from Gil J. Peter to Jenny Alfonso claiming he was in the hospital and that the money was stolen by his office manager.

September 30, 2021, voicemail from Gil J. Peter to Jenny Alonso telling her a “bank merger” prevented them from returning her funds.

As recently as November 11, 2021, Peter left Alfonso promising to repay the investment after our publication contacted him.

Derek Andersen

For Andersen, the arguments were more heated.

During this time, Peter was still coaching flag football and soccer, making it “challenging” to see him, Andersen recalls.

Then, he received phone calls from two friends who also coached in the same leagues as he and Peter. Both had been approached by Peter and were offered an opportunity in an equity share.

One, whose daughter went to preschool with two of Peter’s children and had coached soccer with him, had been told that his investment would earn 10% monthly. Andersen told them he didn’t do his due diligence and had invested too quickly.

Superior Court of New Jersey

On July 8, 2021, attorneys Pashman Stein Walder Hayden of Hackensack filed a complaint on behalf of investors with the Superior Court of New Jersey. 

They charged Gil J. Peter, My Doc, Doctor Doctor, LLC, Anastasi, New York Cardiovascular Surgical Associates, LLC, Board Member, and Attorney Ahmed Seyam, and Gene Equity, LLC with 15 illegal acts, including breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, common law fraud, fraudulent concealment, and unjust enrichment,

“This case involves claims by several individual investors and related investing entities that were fraudulently induced to invest several millions of dollars into a New Jersey-based ambulatory care center…” according to the court document.

Derek Andersen

ponzi scheme
As recently as October 28, 2021, Gil J. Peter had this picture taken in Las Vegas with Mike Tyson to promote yet another product line and find new investors, according to a victim.

Like the investors filing a lawsuit, Andersen believed that My Doc was a legitimate business.

After his initial investment, he did receive a few monthly dividends.

The investment appeared to be working, but the dividend payments always came on different days of the month.  Then they just flat-out stopped,” Andersen said.

Julia Marino

My Doc’s office manager, Julia Marino, eventually spoke to the investors in the suit. She was hired by Peter in 2017 and said she had worked tirelessly to build the business.

“I did everything, marketing, everything,” she said. “I got the patients up to over 150 a day.”

In the beginning, Marino was so focused on getting the urgent care office running smoothly and successfully that she didn’t realize what was going on.

When Peter asked her to open a limited liability company in Wyoming — a state where individual’s names are not required — she alleges it was because the LLC’s activities would not be traceable back to Peter.

According to Marino, at one point, Peter was calling her twice a day, asking her how much money was in the account.

Even stranger, he asked for the money to be transferred into various accounts, such as Gene Equity, LLC and New York Cardiovascular Surgical Associates, LLC.

“Money would come in, and he was funneling it right back out,” she said. “It didn’t matter how many bills were outstanding. Even rent.”

Then there were the alleged wire transfers directly to Peter and his various entities. Marino kept a list from April 2017 until May 2021 to track them.

It totaled $2,082,620.00.

According to Marino, Peter began asking her to boost Medicare claims to increase his payouts, putting Marino in a position of committing Medicare fraud.

And when the investors began calling, Peter allegedly instructed Marino to write them checks. 

But then the check bounced, which she kept track of as well —over a $1 million she alleges.

In New Jersey, writing a bad check for over $75,000 is a second-degree felony that resulted in a judgment against Marino. When Marino brought this to Peter’s attention, he allegedly said he’d take care of it.

Parkland Man Operates a Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme Alleges Attorneys, Victims
Gilbert J. Peter was flying business class to South Korea.

During this time, Marino alleges Peter asked her to hold off on collecting her salary, promising to give her more later.

“He’d take my paycheck, then tell me to pay myself back after an insurance payment came through,” she said.

Peter didn’t stop there. Marino alleges he was asking anyone and everyone to invest. Even her family members.

On one occasion, Marino alleges Peter was inflating the center’s revenue to get an insurance agent to invest.

“He’d [Peter] scan the patients, and if they looked wealthy, he’d hit them up.”

However, when she tried to resign, the judgment still hanging over her head, 

Peter allegedly begged her to stay.

Vero Beach resident John Anastasi, My Doc’s M.D., and Peter’s father-in-law by his second wife asked Marino to apply for an ambulatory license. She alleges it would allow shares of that venture to be sold to even more investors.

She agreed and said Anastasi abruptly told her to turn everything over to Aymed Sayem, his attorney.

“John wanted to have more control,” she said.

Marino realized that Anastasi’s goals weren’t much different from Peter’s.

“When it was time to re-up our insurance, John told me to decrease the number of patients seen daily, to decrease the premium,” she alleges.

As Anastasi became more involved in the center’s financials, he allegedly asked Marino to send large sums into his retirement accounts, siphoning $900,000 from My Doc.

On September 16, 2020, Anastasi submitted a letter to his attorneys stating he was withdrawing from the board of My Doc, essentially surrendering his ownership interest.

Marino alleges Peter obtained a Paycheck Protection Loan to increase their payouts and then transferred the funds into Anastasi’s account.

Peter allegedly created more LLCs and business ventures as spinoffs of My Doc, which he then tried to sell to more unsuspecting investors.

Lawsuits

In August 2020, as part of a lawsuit, investors asked for the financials, bank statements, tax returns, and K1’s from My Doc Jersey Urgent Care LLC and Doctor Doctor LLC.

One month later, after numerous requests, the investors attempted to correspond with My Doc’s office manager, Julia Marino.

The investors allege since 2017, substantial efforts have been made to keep them from knowing the identity of the other investors in My Doc Jersey Urgent Care LLC & Doctor Doctor LLC, who, by that time, had already begun to suspect Gil J. Peter was operating as a Ponzi scheme.

In total, the amount Peter had duped investors was well over $3 million, according to the complaint. Moreover, Peter was accused of falsely representing his business ventures. Despite offering investors “membership interest” in My Doc, he did not obtain the necessary licensing under New Jersey law to permit non-physicians to hold an ownership interest in it.

Among those is a complaint filed on September 22, 2020, alleging Peter had defaulted on a judgment of $798,000 and then failed to respond to a subpoena requiring him to show assets. There is also a foreclosure case filed against Peter by U.S. Bank on April 26, 2021, and another for “contract and indebtedness.”

Patricia Overton

Another lawsuit filed in Aspen, Colorado by Patricia Overton alleges that Peter duped her into investing over $200,000 in ForU Holdings Inc, where he was listed as the director.

According to the 2013 complaint, in an aggressive fundraising campaign to Overton and others, Peter described ForU International — a former subsidiary of GeneLink —as the first network sales firm to “focus on providing individually customized nutritional formulations based on a consumer’s personal DNA assessment.”

Peter’s pitch to Overton described nutritional supplements and a skincare product, which was customized to each consumer’s unique genetic profile and could compensate for an individual’s genetic disadvantages based on an assessment of the DNA obtained from a cheek swab provided by the customer.

The firms claimed the supplements and skin repair serum, costing more than $100 per month, “could compensate for an individual’s genetic disadvantages.” According to the lawsuit, ForU was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the companies would drop misleading disease claims that their products could treat diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, insomnia, and other ailments, the Federal Trade Commission wrote in a  statement.

According to a 2019 article in the Aspen Daily News, Overton’s attorney Peter Thomas wrote that his client was introduced to Peter in 2012 when ForU Holdings was doing business as Capsalus.

Thomas (attorney) alleges her money was not used for legitimate business purposes but was misappropriated to subsidize “unrelated opportunities and fund [Peter’s] lavish personal lifestyle.”

He describes Peter’s actions as an “apparent Ponzi scheme” that used “promissory notes” that were never intended to be repaid.

Tate Branch and Wes Shields

In 2019, another lawsuit filed in the United States District Court of New Jersey by Tate Branch and Wes Shields, known as the “Branch Lawsuit,” resulted in a default judgment against My Doc and Peter for the amount of $1,530,500 plus applicable interest.

Jenny Alfonso

For Alfonso, it was time to file a complaint. After doing a little background research, finding that both Capsalus and ForU violated SEC rules and regulations, she first filed with them.

Then, on September 30, 2021, she filed a complaint with the Broward County Court. As of today, she has not been paid back.

Julie Marino

Things were beginning to collapse. Aside from the Federal case against Peter, allegedly several foreign cases totaling well over $100,000. 

Then there was the unpaid rent.

“At one point, there were locks on the door,” said Marino. “He didn’t care that the doors were going to be shut.” When they finally were, Marino said, “He called John [Anastasi], crying, and asked him to wire $50,000.”

Taxes for My Doc were a mess. She alleges no K1s—- an IRS tax form issued annually for an investment in a partnership—were ever issued to investors. 

Peter kept the investors confidential, leaving Marino unaware of who owned what.

“Even the accountant left,” she recalls.

Marino was able to get the judgment against her set aside. However, according to the complaint, she alleges that once Peter, Anastasi, and Seyam concluded that Marino had provided relevant information to the plaintiffs in the suit, she was fired.

Marino has revealed to plaintiffs years of wrongful acts by Peter, Anastasi, and others.

Records produced in the Branch Lawsuit alleges that Peter was regularly taking unauthorized personal withdrawals from My Doc’s operating account for what appeared to be personal expenses unrelated to the business.

On December 20, 2020, when the plaintiffs sought access to My Doc’s books and records and pressed Peter to provide the same, Anastasi sent Marino the following email.

“Okay. There’s 80K in the account. Be careful not to keep too much there until we’ve straightened this out. I don’t want them to come in and take it.” John S. Anastasi.”

One of Peter’s many excuses for not returning funds to investors is accusing Marino of embezzling over $1 million. However, after Marino hired an attorney, the judge vacated (overturned) the civil judgment.

Gil Peter

We contacted Peter and asked about his various victims. 

Regarding Alfonso, he said, “She’s getting paid back. They’re all getting paid back.”

He then stated his office manager stole the money, and it’s being investigated.

Then he said, “no comment,” to additional questions and hung up.

As it Stands Now

Alfonso, who has since moved from Parkland, remains in contact with friends and continues to learn about additional residents Peter allegedly swindled or attempted to.

On May 16, 2021, Broward County Circuit Judge, Carlos Rodriguez, awarded Andersen a default judgment totaling $137,883.40, plus interest at a rate of 4.31% per year until paid.

At this time, Peter has still not paid Andersen, who wonders how a father, flag football coach, and member of the community could prey on people as Peter does. The hope for all, however, is that no one else is taken by Gilbert J. Peter.

Send your news to Parkland’s #1 news source, Parkland Talk.

Author Profile

Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron is a Parkland resident and editor of Talk Media. She has been covering Parkland news since 2012. Parkland Talk was created to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Parkland.

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