A 26-year old south Florida man is expected
to plead guilty to criminal charges that he masterminded a $10 million Ponzi
scheme that financed a his worldwide jet-setting lifestyle. Donald R.
French Jr., 26, is scheduled to appear before a Florida federal judge on March
15, 2013 to enter a plea agreement to at least one of the criminal charges he
currently faces, which include single counts of conspiracy to commit mail and
wire fraud. Each charges carries a maximum sentence of up to twenty years
in prison as well as criminal penalties.
D3 Capital Management, LLC ("D3") in early 2008 (when he was just 21
years old) in the upscale Mizner Park shopping area of Boca Raton, Florida.
The company advertised itself as the 'premier provider of global
investment management,' and told potential investors they could expect annual
returns of up to 50% through a variety of unconventional investments including
the purchase and resale of precious stones, solar energy, and foreign
currencies. In total, nearly 30 investors entrusted French and D3 with
approximately $10 million - including nearly $2 million from one single
However, the supposed address in Mizner Park was nothing
more than a mailing address and phone number designed to appeal to the wealthy
contingent of south Floridians no doubt familiar with the implications such an
upscale address carried. Instead, French invested only a small amount of
investor funds, using the majority of funds to fund a playboy lifestyle that
included residences in Boca Raton and Rome, frequent foreign travel, and
hundreds of thousands of dollars in gambling losses at popular Las Vegas
casinos. French later bounced more than $600,000 in checks in attempts to
pay off gambling losses at the Cosmopolitan casino, which resulted in the
filing of bad check charges.
Authorities arrested French this past summer in South
Africa on the outstanding Nevada bad check charges, where French later pled
guilty in exchange for a 30-month prison sentence. He was then extradited
back to South Florida.
French is expected in court on March 15, 2013 for a
change of plea hearing.
For more news and analysis of Ponzi schemes, visit
Ponzitracker, a blog by Jordan Maglich, an attorney at Wiand Guerra King P.L.
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