U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
(813) 274-6000
January 8, 2015

Punta Gorda Man Sentenced for Investor Fraud

FORT MYERS, FL—U.S. District Judge John E. Steele has sentenced Anthony Michael Defeo (49, Punta Gorda) to nine years and two months in federal prison for wire fraud. The Court also ordered him to forfeit $5,736,680.00, the proceeds of the wire fraud, and pay restitution to his victims in the same amount. He pleaded guilty on July 15, 2014.

According to court documents, Defeo solicited victim investors who thought they were investing in an opportunity involving a gravel pit and fill dirt to be used by road construction companies for improvements on Interstate 75 in the west coast of Florida. Defeo used companies that he controlled to obtain the victims’ money. He misrepresented to victim investors that he had lucrative contracts and purchase orders with a legitimate corporation engaged in asphalt paving, grading, and related services for roadway and civil construction projects. Rather than using the money as represented, Defeo fraudulently diverted approximately $6,280,580.00 in monies from investors for his own purposes. He failed to repay the investors.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey F. Michelland.

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