Edward Sellers Fitzgerald, 60, then owner of a Dana Point yacht brokerage, is accused of running an investment fraud scam between 2008 and July 2009. According to prosecutors, who alleged Fitzgerald secured loans from friends and acquaintances under the false pretense of purchasing boats for resale, failed to make those purchases and then used new investors to pay off previous investors, keeping much of the money for personal expenses.
In some cases, Fitzgerald sold yachts of behalf of clients, embezzled the sale proceeds from his escrow account and either failed to return the funds or issued bad checks. Fitzgerald is further accused of cashing in deposits customers put down on boats without completing the sales or returning the deposits.
Officers from the Delray Beach Police Department in Florida arrested Fitzgerald on a $1.6 million warrant from Orange County, California. Fitzgerald is charged with eight felony counts of theft from an elder, 19 felony counts of using untrue statements in the purchase or sale of a security, 17 felony counts of grand theft, and 14 felony counts of issuing non-sufficient checks with the intent to defraud. A conviction could have serving in state prison for 58 years.
If you, or someone you know has been charged with Grand Theft or any other type of theft crime or fraud crime, contact
Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Robert M. Bernstein.