South Florida Investment Advisor Indicted for Investment Fraud Scheme
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced the April 5, 2012 indictment of George Elia, 68, formerly of Ft. Lauderdale, on one count of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.
According to the indictment, George Elia controlled International Consultants and Investment Group, Limited Corp., and several other investment companies that operated out of Broward County. From as early as October 2004, Elia solicited investors by making false assurances about the safety and soundness of their investments. The indictment alleges that Elia fraudulently assured investors that his companies had significant assets, that Elia engaged in day trading, that investors could immediately obtain their original investments, and that Elia’s companies consistently earned high rates of return. In fact, however, according to the indictment, Elia’s companies had substantially fewer assets than he represented, his companies paid earlier investors using investor funds from more recent investors, Elia used investor money for his personal use, and Elia’s companies did not earn the rates of return he had assured investors.
This case resulted from the Southern District of Florida’s ongoing Securities and Investment Fraud Initiative. The Securities and Investment Fraud Initiative is a coordinated, multi-agency initiative targeting criminals operating a broad range of stock and commodities frauds in the Southern District of Florida.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Investors should rest assured that individuals who engage in fraud and manipulate the financial system as their treasure trove will be brought to justice.”
“George Elia preyed on trusting investors by touting his purported investment experience and by creating fictitious account statements to create the illusion of success. An important part of the FBI’s mission is to investigate such financial frauds and hold perpetrators accountable. George Elia will now have to face his investors in a court of law,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge John V. Gillies.
Also today, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced it filed a separate civil case against George Elia and his companies for engaging in for engaging in a scheme to defraud investors, including several members of the gay community within Wilton Manors.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the cooperative efforts of the Miami Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. This case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney H. Ron Davidson.
An indictment is only an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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.