Florida Businessman Sentenced To Prison, Ordered To Pay $3.8M In Restitution For Defrauding Investors
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Tampa, Florida, has been sentenced in federal court to 60 months imprisonment and ordered to forfeit $1,728,021 and pay $3,832,701 in restitution on his conviction of wire fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Fotios Geivelis, Jr., a/k/a Frank Geivelis, a/k/a Frank Anastasio, 34.
According to information presented to the court, 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 nearly four 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.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Fischer stated that this very serious offense involving Internet marketing was a product of defendant’s greed; and while he had a difficult upbringing, each of his three siblings had managed to overcome it.
Assistant United States Attorney Leo M. Dillon prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Secret Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Geivelis.