About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

Parlor Games Owner, Oppenheimer Advisor Sued Over Alleged $1 Million Fraud; All You Need To Know

Makowenskyj allegedly worked with Oppenheimer representative and misled investors into putting in over $1 million in an alleged ponzi scheme.
Cover image source: Pexels | Photo by Sora Shimazaki
Cover image source: Pexels | Photo by Sora Shimazaki

A complaint has been filed against a former Suffolk County police officer and Michael Makowenskyj, the owner of Parlor Games, for defrauding investors. Makowenskyj, whose company claims boxer Floyd Mayweather and ex-baseball player Johnny Damon as its “special advisors”, has been accused of working with an Oppenheimer & Co. financial advisor to inflate valuations to mislead investors, per a Bloomberg Law report.

Image source: Pexels | Photo by Tara Winstead
Image source: Pexels | Photo by Tara Winstead

Makowenskyj, along with three other business ventures, allegedly worked with Oppenheimer representative Christopher Lazos and misled investors into putting in over $1 million in an alleged ponzi scheme since 2017. In the complaint filed by New York resident Dimitry Polishchuk, Oppenheimer & Co. has also been named as a defendant for allegedly failing to supervise Lazos, who served as the CFO for Parlor Games and a registered representative of the company.

Polishchuk stated that he was introduced to Makowenskyj by his wife’s friend in 2021, who received a commission from his investment in the alleged ponzi scheme. According to Polishchuk, Parlor Games purported to be a start-up mobile gaming app at the time, which Makowenskyj claimed to have founded in January 2021. He further claimed that the company had a valuation of over $10 million and it sought a $1.5 million capital raise from investors.

Image source: Pexels | Photo by Tara Winstead
Image source: Pexels | Photo by Tara Winstead

Makowenskyj apparently weaved a false story that Lazos and Kevin Harrington of television’s entrepreneurial competition series "Shark Tank" provided the $10 million valuation of the company and mentioned that Floyd Mayweather was a backer. Makowenskyj further boasted social media posts featuring photos of celebrities including Mayweather to bolster his claims of their involvement in the venture.

As per the Bloomberg report, Lazos’s Finra profile says his involvement in Parlor Games is unrelated to his employment with Oppenheimer & Co. However, Makowenskyj used the investment bank’s name and logo in the investment materials which he used to mislead investors into believing the company was involved in the valuation, per the complaint.

However, Oppenheimer has clarified that it has found no evidence to support the allegations of the company being involved in its initial review. “Oppenheimer had no involvement with the company at issue and it was an approved outside investment by the named employee,” the investment firm told Bloomberg Law.

As per the complaint, Polishchuk invested $50,000 in September 2021, and the purchase agreement said he could sell by March 2022. In the first six months after the investment, Makowenskyj failed to communicate with Polishchuk. However, when Polischuk attempted to exercise his option to sell, Makowenskyj allegedly evaded questions for nearly two years while soliciting an additional $50,000 investment from him.

Image Source: Pexels | Photo by John Guccione
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by John Guccione

In April 2023, Makowenskyj wired just $5,000 to Polishchuk after allegedly receiving a bridge loan which Polishchuk believes comprised of other investors’ funds. Since then, Polishchuk has not received any information about Parlor Games’ company financials or the balance of his investment to date, as per the report.

Polishchuk alleged that Makownskyj, his companies, and Lazos failed to disclose potential risk factors associated with the investment. He further claimed that they intentionally misled him about the $10 million valuation to make him invest in the company. Polishchuk seeks to recover damages for the alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act, plus interest and legal fees.