Nicholas Baratoff Jr., a resident of the coastal village of Sea Cliff, N.Y., near New York City, paid $360,000 in restitution on Sept. 6 to an elderly Corpus Christi woman who invested in projects that were supposedly operated by a company with the French name of La Licorne SA. In English, it means The Unicorn.
Baratoff pleaded guilty in the 347th District Court in Nueces County to two counts of misapplication of fiduciary property. As part of his plea, Baratoff must pay an additional $865,000 to his victim over five years of probation. The woman is 89 years old.
Prior to sentencing, Baratoff had been in the Nueces County Jail since July 3 awaiting trial. He is 80 years old.
Baratoff, working in part with a Corpus Christi man who solicited investments in La Licorne projects, told the victim in the case that La Licorne would invest in different sectors of the European economy, including oil and gas and real estate.
Baratoff falsely told the woman that investments made through La Licorne would be secured by a certificate of deposit at a bank in Spain.