Fraud Fugitive Sentenced
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 18, 2010|
TAMPA, FL—U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. today sentenced Steven Ray Brewer (age 45 of Satellite Beach, Florida) to 15 years and eight months in federal prison for his part in two different fraud schemes.
On July 25, 2003, Brewer pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in one case, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering in a second case. Brewer failed to appear for his sentencing hearing, and the court issued a warrant for his arrest. Seven years later, in August 2010, Brewer was finally apprehended. He was sentenced today.
According to court documents in the first case, from at least as early as June 1997 through October 1999, Brewer was a principal of World Vision Entertainment, Ltd., which was headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Using World Vision Entertainment, Global Insurance Company, Ltd., and other entities, Brewer and his co-conspirators marketed and sold worthless promissory notes backed by fictitious financial guarantee bonds. Brewer and his co-conspirators used investors' funds to make interest payments to earlier investors, as in a typical Ponzi scheme, to pay expenses associated with operation of the fraud scheme, and for their personal enrichment. Investors suffered losses amounting to $32,436,652.
The second case was charged in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina and transferred here for final disposition. According to court documents in that case, from about July through September 1995, Brewer and his co-conspirators created an entity called Discount Promotional Services, Inc., through which they ran a fictitious airline ticket promotion. As a result of this conspiracy, Brewer and his co-conspirators fraudulently received approximately $154,792.14 for worthless discount airline packages from consumers nationwide.
This World Vision Entertainment case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rachelle DesVaux Bedke.