Investment fraud in Florida comes in many forms and perpetrated by almost anyone. However, when the accused individual is a public servant, the results of the offense can affect both governmental bodies and singular investors who unknowingly misplaced their trust in the alleged offender.
Such is the case with a former Seminole County tax collector now facing charges of embezzlement, investment fraud and other related charges stemming from actions he allegedly performed during the time he held his public position.
Defendant accused of bribery
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the accused allegedly filtered hundreds of thousands of dollars during his time as a tax collector and sought to increase those funds through the bribery of an employee with the U.S. Small Business Administration, who reportedly assisted the defendant with filing falsified loans by changing some of the requirements needed to receive loans meant to help small business owners with COVID relief.
Businesses set up as fronts
The former tax collector, who quit his position last summer, also set up several businesses to funnel funds out of the position to purchase cryptocurrency for himself and to buy costly sports memorabilia for his personal collection. The defendant also created fraudulent bank accounts and falsified memo lines on checks to allegedly steal funds for himself. In the case of investment fraud, he used funds slated for that purpose to purchase additional cryptocurrency and to purchase cryptocurrency mining machines to sell for profit.
Currently, the defendant faces multiple federal charges of fraud and embezzlement. He will appear in court again in April to face these allegations and to learn what type of sentence he may receive if convicted.