SEMINOLE – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center arrested a Seminole man Jan. 16 in a $6 million Ponzi scheme.
David George Dreslin, 54, was charged with racketeering, conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity, three counts of sale of an unregistered security, three counts of sale of a security by an unregistered dealer, security fraud and organized fraud.
Dreslin turned himself into the Pinellas County Jail Thursday afternoon. Bond was set at $920,000.
This was a joint investigation with the Office of Financial Regulation and FDLE. Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.
According to a press release, the investigation revealed that Dreslin was engaged in a Ponzi type scheme, soliciting investors for various real estate projects Dreslin, an accountant, would convince his clients to purchase shares or units in a variety of real estate development projects promising large returns in a short period of time.
"Victims of this scheme lost their hard-earned savings to someone who was looking to make a quick dollar through an illegal operation," Bondi said. "Because of strong partnerships among my Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Office of Financial Regulation, the defendant is behind bars, and my office will aggressively prosecute this case."
Agents found Dreslin did not own all of the real estate he sold to his clients and also used their investments as personal income or to payout other investors. Agents believe investors lost over $6 million in the scheme.
FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said, “Dreslin’s victims were convinced to liquidate their retirement accounts and in some instances cash-out the equity of their homes. For many victims, the scam resulted in the loss of their life-savings.”
“The OFR is committed to protecting the citizens of Florida and appreciate the efforts of our partners in law enforcement to bring justice to those who seek to separate Floridians from their hard earned dollars,” said OFR Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear. “We encourage all potential investors to research any financial product fully and to take measures to protect themselves.”
The investigation is ongoing and there will be additional arrests, according to the FDLE.