Parkland, Florida – Yesterday, Thomas Michael White, 60, of Parkland, Florida was sentenced to 14 years in prison for leading a multi-year conspiracy that robbed over a dozen senior citizens of their retirement money.
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.
A jury in Miami found White guilty, on December 13, 2018, of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and four counts of mail fraud, in connection with the scheme to fraudulently raise $2 million from over a dozen elderly victims throughout the United States (Case No. 18-60174-CR-Bloom). U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom sentenced White (the mastermind of the fraud scheme) to a total of 168 months in prison. He was also ordered to pay $1,936,400 in restitution to his victims and serve three years of supervised release.
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 (“vulnerable, elderly 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. 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’ imprisonment. Genzone also pled guilty and on December 21, 2018, Judge Bloom sentenced him in both cases to 41 months’ imprisonment, concurrently. Daniel Joseph Touizer, 44, of Aventura, Florida was sentenced to 68 months’ imprisonment 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’ imprisonment.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and Florida OFR in this matter. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Cruz.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on February 28, 2019.