City of Miami Police Officer Charged in Ponzi Scheme
City of Miami police officer Dermis Hernandez, 41, of Homestead, was arrested by the FBI for participation in a scheme where Hernandez falsely represented to victim investors that he was able to offer a low risk investment with guaranteed returns through high-interest loans his company made to Costa Rican property owners.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Jorge Colina, Chief, City of Miami Police Department (MPD), made the announcement.
On January 29, 2018, Hernandez was arrested at the Fort Lauderdale airport before boarding a flight to Costa Rica. Hernandez was charged by complaint with a conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. It is alleged that, Hernandez told investors that their investment funds provided loans for the property owners in Costa Rica whose real property would be used as collateral for the loan and forfeited if the loan was not paid. In truth, Hernandez and his co-conspirators used the majority of investor funds for personal enrichment and to pay the returns of other investors.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the MPD. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Langley.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.