WASHINGTON–A Florida man was arrested Thursday in Manhattan on a wire fraud charge related to his alleged participation in a $30 million investment fraud scheme,
According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida, David R. Lewalski, 47, and his co-conspirators allegedly solicited money from investors based on false statements that Lewalski could earn the investors up to 10 percent interest per month by trading on the foreign currency (FOREX) market. The complaint alleges that, based on these and other fraudulent representations, Lewalski and his co-conspirators received approximately $30 million from hundreds of investors in Florida and across the country.
According to the complaint, Lewalski allegedly invested only a small portion of these investor funds in trading activities and generated little if any profits trading foreign currency. Lewalski allegedly paid “interest payments” totaling approximately $15 million to investors using other investors’ money. Lewalski also spent lavishly on himself, his friends and his family, spending millions of dollars leasing real estate and private jets, and purchasing luxury automobiles, clothing and jewelry.
If convicted, Lewalski faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A complaint is merely a formal charge and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mandy Riedel and Trial Attorney Glenn Chernigoff with the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, on detail from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.