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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 2, 2019

Winter Park Man Pleads Guilty To Fraud And Money Laundering

Orlando, Florida – Bryan L. Brewer (44, Winter Park) has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud count, up to 30 years’ imprisonment for the bank fraud count, and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for the money laundering count. Brewer has also agreed to pay restitution to his victims and a money judgment has been entered for more than $9 million.

According to court documents, Brewer engaged in two fraud schemes that resulted in him receiving more than $9 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. Relying upon those and other misrepresentations, the victim invested over $1 million.

The second scheme related to 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
Component(s): 
Updated August 2, 2019