Former Wellington Resident Sentenced in Investment Fraud Scheme
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Drew J. Breakspear, Commissioner, Florida Office of Financial Regulation, announce that George Louis Theodule, 52, a former resident of Wellington, was sentenced to 150 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Theodule previously pled guilty to wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.
According to the indictment, Theodule engaged in an investment fraud or “Ponzi” scheme, wherein he induced individuals to invest money with his companies, Creative Capital Consortium and A Creative Capital Concepts, based upon the representation that he would be able to double their money in 90 days, primarily by trading in stock options. Theodule, the indictment alleges, targeted the Haitian community in South Florida and elsewhere, forming “investment clubs” which attracted thousands of investors between late 2007 and late 2008. In reality only a small portion of investors’ money was placed into trading accounts – which invariably were depleted without showing any gains whatsoever. Rather, substantial funds were used to repay earlier investors, creating the appearance of investment success, and other funds were used by the defendant for his personal benefit. The scheme unraveled in early 2009 when the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a restraining order and later an injunction to stop the alleged unlawful practices.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “George Louis Theodule defrauded his victims out of millions of their hard-earned dollars. He did so by taking advantage of people who trusted him because of their cultural affinity. Such tactics are intolerable, especially given that some of his victims lost their entire life savings. This sentence should send a strong message to those who prey on the trust of others: you will get caught and justice will be served.”
“George Louis Theodule preyed on his connections within the Haitian community with offers too good to be true,” said Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. Theodule now has 12 and a half years in prison to think about how he betrayed others.”
“Protecting Floridians from fraud, such as this, is one of our highest priorities and we are pleased with the outcome,” said OFR Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear. “We thank our partners in law enforcement for bringing this individual to justice. All potential investors are strongly encouraged to use due diligence when considering any financial product.”
In addition to the prison sentence, Theodule will be ordered to pay restitution to identified victims of the scheme. A restitution hearing has been scheduled for May 9, 2014.
Any victims of George Louis Theodule’s fraud who have not yet submitted a claim with the U.S. Probation Office are asked to contact Rosemary Williams at (305) 523-5455.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roger H. Stefin and 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.