New Port Richey couple charged with running Clear­water-based investment scam

Maritza Belinda Perez
[Source: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
Maritza Belinda Perez [Source: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
Published Jul. 15, 2016

A Tampa Bay couple has been arrested on charges of organized fraud, grand theft and mortgage fraud tied to the sale of investment offerings in Clearwater.

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation on Friday announced the charges against Miguel Angel Perez and his wife, Maritza Belinda Perez, accusing the New Port Richey couple of defrauding at least 13 Floridians out of about $500,000.

According to the OFR, potential investors were allegedly recruited through "free" real estate investment seminars held at various hotels throughout the Tampa Bay area. At the seminars, attendees were offered investments in an assisted living facility. The facility never came into operation, authorities said, and instead the pair allegedly used investor funds for personal expenses, including the purchase of a home in New Port Richey.

When arrested separately on June 24 and July 13 Miguel and Maritza Perez were believed to be recruiting investors for a new venture involving multi-level marketing and real estate projects. Their companies used for the projects included Investors Mentorship Club, LLC, Allegi, Inc., and I Dream Big Coaching, Inc.