Florida Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for $30 Million Investment Fraud Scheme
WASHINGTON – A Gainesville, Fla., man was sentenced today in the Middle District of Florida to 20 years in prison for orchestrating a $30 million investment fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill of the Middle District of Florida.
David Lewalski, 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore. The court also ordered Lewalski to forfeit $29.8 million and numerous computers and computer equipment that are traceable to proceeds of the offense.
According to court documents, Lewalski and others acting at his direction solicited money from investors in Florida and throughout the country based on false statements that Lewalski could earn them up to 10 percent interest per month in the foreign currency (forex) market. Based on these and other fraudulent promises, Lewalski received approximately $30 million from more than 500 investors. Lewalski invested only a small portion of these investor funds in trading activities and generated little if any profits trading foreign currency. Lewalski paid out purported “interest payments” totaling approximately $15 million to investors using other investors’ money to perpetuate the fraud.
Lewalski also spent lavishly on himself, his friends and his family. Lewalski spent millions of dollars of investors’ money on high-end real estate in New York City, private jets, clothing, luxury automobiles, such as Porches and a Ferrari, and jewelry, including a gold and diamond Rolex watch.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Henry Van Dyck of the Fraud Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mandy Riedel. The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, with assistance from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Florida Office of the Attorney General.