Port St. Lucie Broker Sentenced to 87 Months in Prison in Wire Fraud Embezzlement Scheme
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Danny Banks, Special Agent in Charge, Orlando Regional Operations Center, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), announce that Paul Elvidge, 54, of Port Saint Lucie, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez to 87 months in prison, followed by three years’ supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,289,878 for embezzling from client investment accounts while acting as a securities broker for Cape Securities, Inc. (Cape Securities) and Seacoast Investor Services, Inc. (Seacoast).
Specifically, Elvidge was sentenced to 63 months in prison for eight counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, followed by a consecutive 24 months on the aggravated identity theft count, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.
According to court documents, Elvidge, formerly a registered representative and stockbroker with Cape Securities and Seacoast from 2010 to 2012, did willfully and knowingly obtain money fraudulently by authorizing numerous wire transfers from his clients’ brokerage accounts to his own personal bank and brokerage accounts.
To carry out the fraud, Elvidge prepared fraudulent letters of authorization directing that funds be transferred from a client’s account to his own Seacoast brokerage or his PNC bank account. He would then forge the client’s signature on the letter of authorization to make it appear that the transfer was authorized by the account holder. Thereafter, he would fax the fraudulent letter of authorization to Cape Securities’ main office in Georgia, or—when he operated as Seacoast—to Pershing LLC, which was the clearing house used to conduct Seacoast transactions. Once the money was transferred to his accounts, he used the money to pay his personal and business expenses, and to conduct day trades through a personal account he had at AMP Global Clearing.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and FDLE. This case was prosecuted by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaniek Maynard.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.