West Palm Beach Resident Pleads Guilty in $1.9 Million Investment Fraud Scheme
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, and Linda B. Charity, Interim Commissioner, Office of Financial Regulation, State of Florida, announced that defendant Keith Allen Mills, 53, formerly of West Palm Beach, Florida, pled guilty today before the U. S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon to a one count Information charging him with wire fraud. Sentencing has been scheduled for January 2, 2013, before the Honorable United States District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks.>
According to the Information, plea agreement, and other documents filed and statements made in court, between January 2009, and October 2010, Mills was the President of Business Vision Network Inc. (BVN), which was purportedly in the business of producing television infomercials, and selling certain products advertised through infomercials it produced. Mills and others associated with BVN solicited investors in BVN by falsely representing that BVN was a successful infomercial company, and that BVN had acquired certain products that it would be selling directly through infomercials produced by BVN. For example, Mills and others associated with BVN told investors that BVN had $10 million in revenues, was financially stable, and had recently completed a number of infomercials.
None of these statements were true. Mills and others associated with BVN also told investors that BVN had purchased a large inventory of a certain type of electric scooter typically used by the elderly and those with health issues and that BVN intended to sell the scooters through infomercials that would be produced by BVN. BVN would then be able to profit directly from the sale of the scooters. They told investors that BVN had secured a valuable Medicare number that would allow BVN to offer the electric scooter to qualified recipients at little or no cost to the recipients. In fact, however, BVN did not have an inventory of the scooters, was not prepared to sell them through BVN, and did not have a Medicare number. Based upon these and other false statements, more than 90 people invested approximately $1.9 million in BVN. Rather than being used to further the business interests of BVN, the vast majority of the funds were used to maintain the lavish lifestyle of Mills and others associated with BVN.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation. This case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Bell.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.