Twenty-Four Year Prison Sentence for Investment Scheme Mastermind

by Andrew Murray | August 21st, 2019

On August 5, 2019, Florida’s Attorney General announced the sentence for one of the scheme’s masterminds following his convictions on racketeering, money laundering, and other charges. The Press Release states:

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In May, A Broward County jury found John A. Cavallo, Jr. guilty on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, fraudulent transactions, multiple degrees of grand theft and money laundering. The charges stem from an investigation into a criminal scheme involving Cavallo and other defendants defrauding victims out of more than $1.2 million. Many of the victims were seniors.

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An investigation by the Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation found that from October 2009 through 2014, Cavallo and accomplices operated several shell companies purporting to broker the buying and selling of precious metals as an investment option. Many of the identified victims are elderly, some of whom passed away during the pendency of the case.

Victims were recruited primarily through unlawful telephone solicitations. The defendants incorporated company names to obtain articles of incorporation from the Florida Division of Corporations, opening more than 30 bank accounts to which victims mailed checks or wired funds. Financial analysis of the bank accounts controlled by the defendants showed that less than five percent of the funds were used for the purchase of precious metals.

The investigation revealed that most of the money funded the continuation of the fraud and for the defendants’ personal use. Cavallo laundered all the money through corporate named bank accounts controlled by the defendants. Victims were identified within Florida and in several other states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.

The other charged co-defendants accepted plea negotiations or plead to the court. most recently, the Honorable Judge Ilona Holmes sentenced co-defendant Allen Franks to more than 38 years in state prison.

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