Tampa Man Took $3.9M from More than Three Dozen Investors
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Tampa, Fla., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of wire fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Fotios Geivelis, Jr., a/k/a Frank Geivelis, a/k/a Frank Anastasio, 34, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Geivelis, through operation of his Florida company, Worldwide Funding III, Ltd. (WWF), obtained approximately $3.9 million in increments of $60,000 or $90,000 from more than three dozen investors, to each of whom he promised to obtain a $10 million “non-recourse” overseas loan for a “humanitarian” or “job- creating” project. The funds were wired into the escrow accounts of a Florida attorney Geivelis designated as the “Paymaster,” and thereafter paid out to that attorney, brokers who had referred the investors to WWF and to Geivelis, who spent his share on personal expenses such as hotels, casinos, restaurants, strip clubs, automobiles, clothing and jewelry. No loans were ever obtained for the investors, who Geivelis attempted to lull by repeated assurances that their deals would close within a short period of time. .
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for July 31, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Leo M. Dillon is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Secret Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Geivelis.