Broward County Resident Convicted by Trial Jury of Participating in a Two Million Dollar Securities Fraud Conspiracy Scheme that Targeted the Elderly
On December 13, 2018, a Broward County resident was convicted by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and four counts of mail fraud, in connection with a scheme to fraudulently raise $2 million from over a dozen elderly victims throughout the United States.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Pamela Epting, Interim Commissioner, Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR), made the announcement.
Thomas Michael White, 60, of Parkland, Florida, was convicted by a federal jury after a two week trial before U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom in Miami (Case No. 18-60174-CR-Bloom). White faces a maximum statutory sentence of twenty years in prison for the mail and wire fraud conspiracy count, twenty years in prison for each mail fraud count, and a fine up to $250,000 or double the proceeds as to each count of conviction. White is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Bloom on February 26, 2019.
According to the court record, including evidence introduced at trial, White was President and CEO of First Call Ventures, LLC, the parent company of First Call Movers & Transport of Florida, LLC, a moving company that also brokered customer moves for other companies. From November 2011 through mid-2014, White ran the Broward-based moving business’ call center that booked moves throughout the Southeast. He also oversaw a “phone room” out of his corporate offices to raise money from investors. During telephone calls, White and his co-conspirators used false statements, manipulation, and high-pressure tactics to target elderly investors (victims) and their retirement money. The victims included retired teachers, farmers, small business owners, and homemakers, from across the United States. When his targets did not have available funds to invest, White tricked them into converting their Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) money and transferring the funds to his corporate bank account. White promised his investors that their money was safe and secure, would be returned after a year, and yield high-value interest payments to be paid on a monthly basis. White and his co-conspirators provided written and oral “Investor Reports” that falsely conveyed security and profitability of the First Call Ventures moving business. As a result, White and his conspirators were given a total of more than $2 million from over a dozen senior citizens.
In truth and fact, White and his partners used the investors’ money for themselves, including millions in cash and bank check payments. Bank records also demonstrated that over the course of the fraud scheme, White withdrew over $130,000 in investor proceeds at the Seminole Coconut Creek casino. White and his partners siphoned all profits and victim money to their own personal accounts, declared a $1.8 million “loss,” and shuttered the business. As a result of the fraudulent scheme, some of the senior citizens are now living on food stamps, lost their homes, or were forced to take on odd jobs for income.
Four other individuals tied to this case and a related indictment previously pled guilty. White’s co-defendants, John Kevin Reech, 56, of Delray Beach, Florida, and Joseph Mario Genzone, 53, of Boca Raton, Florida, previously pled guilty. Genzone and Reech were also recently charged by Information for operating a separate offering fraud (Case No. 18-80193-CR-Bloom). Reech pled guilty in both matters and was sentenced to a concurrent term of 51 months in prison. Genzone also pled guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Bloom on December 21, 2018, in both cases. Daniel Joseph Touizer, 44, of Aventura, Florida was sentenced to 68 month in prison for leading a similar fraud scheme linked to White and Reech’s criminal conduct (Case No. 17-60286-CR-Bloom). Saul Daniel Suster, 66, of Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, a phone room worker of Touizer’s, was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and Florida Office of Financial Regulation in this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Cruz.
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 at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.