A man who has been in prison after being accused of orchestrating a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme has been given a chance at freedom. A U.S. magistrate agreed to release the 49-year-old man from custody pending the completion of his Ponzi scheme fraud case. The white-collar crime case alleges that the Palm Beach Gardens man was running a fake virtual concierge scam.
The man was previously released on bond from prison during his criminal proceedings; however, he was taken back into custody after allegedly contacting a witness in his case. Now, the man is being released a second time. He will be on house arrest, denied the use of the Internet (unless it is for job search purposes) and prohibited from contacting any victims and/or witnesses related to his case. If he violates any of these terms, he will be taken back into custody.
In his criminal proceedings, the man has been accused of mail fraud and wire fraud relating to his Virtual Concierge kiosk business. Allegedly, over 1,000 investors in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and other regions have been harmed by the man's actions. According to his legal representation, the man's attempt to contact a witness in his proceedings was an honest error in judgment, and his client was merely trying to get information for an attorney to help represent him in his proceedings.
No matter what the legal charges, courts will consider an individual to be innocent until -- and only if -- that person is found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Until an actual conviction occurs, many who are accused of crimes in Florida can remain free and out of jail. In this case, the man was denied that freedom after having allegedly violated the specific terms of his release on bond. This alleged Ponzi scheme is an excellent example of how careful accused individuals must be during their criminal proceedings. One simple misstep could lead them back to jail, which could have negative consequences for the final result of their proceedings.
Source: The Palm Beach Post, "Accused Palm Beach County concierge scammer released from jail - again" Jane Musgrave, Apr. 29, 2014