NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A group of Middle Tennesseans have filed a lawsuit against a California businessman for $19 million, claiming he tricked them into investing into a sham business idea for a television network devoted to the tea party movement.
Six local investors, mostly from Williamson County, alleged that they were swindled out of nearly $300,000 by Anthony Loiacono, who promised big returns on their investment.
Loiacono told the investors that his business idea, Tea Party HD, was projected to make $19 million within three years, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuits states: "The alleged purpose of Tea Party HD was to be the 'world's first HD provider of news about the Tea Party. In reality it was an investment scheme to defraud politically conservative-minded citizens who support the Tea Party mission."
The lawsuit goes on to claim that Loiacono never kicked in his own promised investment but used the investors' money as his own personal bank account, paying himself and family members.
Loiacono has faced these sorts of complaints before. He has been sued in California over a proposed 'virtual reality online" project that failed to materialize. He was even sued by his former employer, sports card giant "upper deck" for patent infringement.
The plaintiffs are seeking $19 million dollars in punitive damages.