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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Ponte Vedra Man Sentenced To 5 Years In Federal Prison And Ordered To Pay $8.9 Million In Restitution For Fraud And Money Laundering

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Bryan L. Brewer (44, Ponte Vedra) to five years in federal prison for wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. Brewer also was ordered to pay $8.9 million in restitution.

Brewer had pleaded guilty on August 1, 2019. 

According to court documents, Brewer engaged in two fraud schemes that resulted in him receiving more than $8 million. In one scheme, Brewer solicited an individual to invest in a company that manufactured paddleboards by the name of USBoardco (also known as WatersEdge). As part of the scheme, Brewer sent the victim copies of bank statements, tax returns, and other financial documents that had been falsified to inflate the sales, profits, income, and bank account balance for the company.  In reliance upon those and other misrepresentations, the victim invested over $1 million.

The second scheme related to some real estate located in Seminole County. In 2012, an investor loaned more than $4 million to assist Brewer in the purchase of the property. In return, the investor obtained a mortgage on the property. A couple of years later, Brewer defrauded a bank into lending his companies $7.75 million that involved Brewer forging documents and using a fake email account that he had created for his investor. This scheme consisted of two parts. First, Brewer forged a letter that transferred the mortgage from his investor to an entity that Brewer controlled.  Second, Brewer forged an estoppel letter from his investor that falsely promised that the investor would release his mortgage for $3.5 million. Brewer used a fake email account that he had established for the investor to send the forged estoppel letter and to pretend to be the investor in communications with the bank. Relying upon the forged letters and his other misrepresentations, the bank loaned one of Brewer’s companies $7.75 million. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated December 17, 2019