Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Frank Preve Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud in Massive Rothstein Ponzi Scheme

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Donnell Young, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Frank Preve, 70, of Coral Springs, pled guilty in Ft. Lauderdale before U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. At his sentencing, scheduled for December 12, 2014, Preve faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison.

In 2009, it was discovered that the law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (RRA) was being utilized by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Scott W. Rothstein, to commit a massive Ponzi scheme stemming from the sale of fictitious confidential settlements. In a written factual stipulation filed in connection with his guilty plea, Preve admitted that he worked for a number of companies, referred to as “the Banyon Group,” which solicited lenders and investors into the confidential settlement business being offered by Rothstein. The defendant further admitted that, from on or about July 9, 2009 through October 31, 2009, he defrauded investors by not disclosing that Rothstein had failed to make payments that were due to the Banyon Group, that Rothstein had frozen certain bank accounts that were holding investor funds, that certain paperwork was not being prepared, and that verification of the investments was not taking place, all in violation of a private placement memorandum which had been circulated to potential investors by the Banyon Group. The defendant further admitted that, through these material misrepresentations and omissions, Preve caused more than $20 million to be paid by investors to the Banyon Group.

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