Four Arrested in Florida Scheme that Targeted Retirement Funds
Four people were arrested this past October in a money-laundering scheme that law officials report targeted victims’ retirement funds. The alleged perpetrators hailed from several Florida counties, including Palm Beach County and Broward County, as well as out of state, including South Carolina and Minnesota. They are said to have made off with at least $1.2 million in retirement funds belonging to at least 17 Florida residents through the use of a racketeering scheme, according to the Palm Beach Post.
The arrests came after a lengthy investigation in which the Florida Attorney General’s office, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement all worked together. While four were arrested, officials are still looking for two other people that they believe were involved with the scam.
According to officials, the defendants created a fake business in which they bought and sold precious metals as an investment option for clients. While these clients invested hundreds of thousands into the company, less than one percent of the money was actually used for these types of investments. With the use of several shell companies and up to 30 bank accounts, the defendants were able to launder the money.
The majority of the victims included senior citizens who used huge portions of their retirement funds to make these investments. The alleged perpetrators assured the victims that that their investments would turn a quick profit, making the investment low-risk and high-reward. Some of the victims wiped out their entire life savings on the scheme and were left empty-handed.
The four defendants, aged 37 through 73, were charged with multiple crimes, including fraudulent securities transactions, racketeering information for grand theft, unlicensed telemarketing and money laundering. If they are found guilty, they face serious jail time, as well as fines and restitution. It could, however, take years before any of the victims hope to see their retirement funds replenished.
To learn more about establishing retirement funds, consult with the knowledgeable estate planning attorneys of the Charles Law Office, serving clients throughout Florida.