Port St. Lucie Broker Pleads Guilty in Wire Fraud Embezzlement Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 29, 2014|
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Danny Banks, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), announce today that defendant Paul Elvidge, 53, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, pled guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for embezzling more than $1,000,000 from client investment accounts while acting as a securities broker for Cape Securities Inc. and Seacoast Investor Services Inc.
Elvidge pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez to eight counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. Elvidge faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison on each of the wire fraud counts and a consecutive penalty of two years in prison on the aggravated identity theft count.
According to court pleadings, Elvidge managed and operated Seacoast Investor Services, which later was purchased by Cape Securities, as a brokerage and investment firm in Port St. Lucie. As a registered representative and stockbroker, Elvidge had access to clients’ brokerage accounts and was able to direct wire transfers from these brokerage accounts. From July 2010 to October 2012, Elvidge, Jr. embezzled approximately $1,113,594 from client accounts by preparing fraudulent forms and forging account holders’ signatures. Elvidge, Jr. used the fraudulently obtained money to pay for personal and business expenses and to fund his personal day-trading activities.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and FDLE. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaniek Maynard.