Italian charged with conspiracy in US

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 11:56 hrs

Miami, Nov 20 (IBNS) An Italian resident in the US has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, on Monday announced the filing of an information against defendant Donald Richard French, Jr., 25, a resident of Rome, Italy.

The information charges defendant French with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. Defendant French was arraigned Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge James M. Hopkins in West Palm Beach, Florida.

According to the information and the criminal complaint previously filed in this case, French established "D3 Funds LP" as an investment business in Boca Raton, Florida.

Soliciting investors in Florida, Massachusetts, and Michigan, defendant French promised them high rates of return, in some instances as high as 50 percent. French created web-based statements of account, which falsely stated that the victim's investments had generated large profits.

French defrauded more than 50 victims out of more than $10 million, the majority of which was spent on himself and his co-conspirators, including approximately $1.5 million which he spent on check/debit card purchases for his personal living expenses and approximately $689,900 to pay for his casino gambling debts.

If convicted, French faces a potential maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison.

Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI in this case.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry S. Baron.

An information is only an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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