Italian Resident Charged with Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced the filing of an Information against defendant Donald Richard French, Jr., 25, a resident of Rome, Italy. The Information charges defendant French with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. Defendant French was arraigned Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge James M. Hopkins in West Palm Beach, Florida.
According to the Information, and the criminal complaint previously filed in this case, French established “D3 Funds, LP” as an investment business in Boca Raton, Florida. Soliciting investors in Florida, Massachusetts, and Michigan, defendant French promised them high rates of return, in some instances, as high as 50%. French created web based statements of account, which falsely stated that the victim’s investments had generated large profits. French defrauded more than 50 victims out of more than $10 million, the majority of which was spent on himself and his co-conspirators, including approximately $1.5 million which he spent on check/debit card purchases for his personal living expenses and approximately $689,900 to pay for his casino gambling debts.
If convicted, French faces a potential maximum statutory sentence of twenty years in prison.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI in this case. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry S. Baron.
An Information is only an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent 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.