A New Port Richey couple has been arrested on charges of organized fraud, grand theft and mortgage fraud tied to the sale of investment offerings in Clearwater.
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation announced on Friday the couple is accused of defrauding at least 13 Floridians out of about $500,000.
According to the OFR, potential investors were allegedly recruited through “free” real estate investment seminars held at various hotels throughout the Tampa Bay area. At the seminars, attendees were offered investments in an assisted living facility. The facility never came into operation, authorities claim, and instead the pair allegedly used investor funds for personal expenses, including the purchase of a home in New Port Richey.
When arrested separately on June 24 and July 13 the man and wife were believed to be recruiting investors for a new venture involving multi-level marketing and real estate projects.
The crime of fraud is defined as deceiving another person for financial gain. Organized fraud is any type of fraud committed by an organized group in order to steal from unsuspecting individuals. These charges are quite serious and carry severe penalties. Fraud charges are often investigated by federal agencies such as the FBI, IRS and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A few types of organized fraud include:
- Get Rich Quick Schemes
- Phishing: obtaining sensitive personal information, like online usernames and passwords.
- Bank Fraud
- Investment Fraud
- Money Laundering
- Mail Fraud
- Insurance Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud