TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
AP Florida

Investor group chief charged in Fla. Ponzi scam

Published:   |   Updated: July 14, 2014 at 06:12 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) The former head of a Florida investment group has been charged with fraud for his alleged role in disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein's $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutors on Monday charged Frank Preve with wire fraud conspiracy, which carries a five-year maximum prison sentence. Preve ran the Banyon Group, which invested in Rothstein's supposedly confidential legal settlements that turned out to be bogus.

Court documents say Preve was aware a few months before the scheme collapsed in 2009 that Rothstein was not keeping his commitments to the Banyon investors and that Preve failed to inform them.

Preve's attorney Ray Rasco says Preve will reach a deal to plead guilty with prosecutors. Rasco says the charges are mainly technical investor violations.

Nearly two dozen people have been convicted in the Rothstein case.