A Cudahy family is being accused of committing securities fraud after allegedly taking peoples’ funds to invest without being legally certified to do so and then refusing to return those funds.
Jeff, Lynette and Cody Lister are named as defendants in the case, which was filed against them by Milwaukee County resident Wilson Rodriguez Jr. Jeff and Lynette Lister are the parents of Cody Lister.
The lawsuit alleges that for the past several years, the Lister family has been engaged in a fraudulent scheme to manage cryptocurrency and other digital assets on behalf of others for a fee.
Cody Lister allegedly accepted funds and digital assets from more than 10 other people and then invested these assets for a fee.
The complaint states those fees were then pooled into accounts that belonged to Jeff and Lynette Lister.
No one in the family has the proper certification that would allow them to legally manage, invest or trade funds on behalf of others, according to the complaint. Cody Lister also failed to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
“Lister specifically stated in a video chat that he was permitted to trade cryptocurrency on behalf of others,” reads the complaint.
The complaint says Lynette Lister first met Rodriguez while working as his real estate agent, encouraging Rodriguez to discuss cryptocurrency with Cody Lister because of his supposed knowledge. She is listed as an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Metro Realty. Jeff Lister also allegedly assisted Cody Lister in the management of other peoples’ assets.
Cody Lister told Rodriguez that he would be able to double his money, according to the complaint.
On Aug. 19, 2021, Rodriguez allegedly sent $4,450 for Cody Lister to invest. Rodriguez signed a written agreement that said Cody Lister would manage those funds for a fee of 3%. By October 2021, Rodriguez had sent Cody Lister approximately $100,000 in digital assets. Rodriguez continued to ask for return of his funds to make a real estate purchase, to no avail, according to the complaint.
In response to Rodriguez’s demand to return his money, the complaint says Cody Lister responded by texting “Yes (of course) I did shroomies yesterday so was a little out of it to say the least.”
Despite the entire family allegedly continuing to make excuses for why Rodriguez’s money could not be returned, Rodriguez was sent a screenshot that showed Cody Lister’s bank account containing over $5 million in funds, according to the complaint.
The complaint states Rodriguez has suffered losses of over $150,000, which he seeks to recover.
"My clients vehemently disagree with the claims filed and look forward to their day in court," said Michael Haeberle, attorney for the family, in a statement.