The Penningtons had already sunk $25,000 into a tech company when they found themselves in a luxury suite in the Miami Dolphins’ stadium, taking in the spectacle and listening to the CEO give his time-tested sales pitch.
The host was a former Miami Dolphin himself, they had been told, and a former Miami Hurricanes player. And with his 6-foot, 3-inch frame and bulging, tattooed arms, David Coriaty looked the part. He had friends in football, including a coterie of NFL players who had trusted him enough to invest in his company, which has had several names but is now called Hawk Systems, Inc.
Months later, after more meetings and persuasion, Lynda Pennington, 67, transferred more money to invest in the company which claimed to have invented a revolutionary car security product. This time, it was everything in her 401(k): $55,800.
They lost it all.
“Everything I’ve worked for, my savings I had from my company when we moved [from Miami to the Sarasota area] and I rolled it into an IRA, every bit of it unfortunately went to David,” Lynda said.
Coriaty never played for the Dolphins or the Hurricanes.