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Tampa jury convicts Florida man in $80M Ponzi investment scheme

Authorities say Michael DaCorta, 57, of Sarasota, used the victims’ money to purchase expensive vehicles, million-dollar homes and lavish trips.
A federal jury in Tampa found Michael DaCorta guilty Wednesday of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, money laundering and filing a false income tax return, according to court records. The 57-year-old Sarasota resident faces up to 33 years in prison.
A federal jury in Tampa found Michael DaCorta guilty Wednesday of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, money laundering and filing a false income tax return, according to court records. The 57-year-old Sarasota resident faces up to 33 years in prison.
Published May 5

TAMPA — A Florida man has been convicted of running an $80 million Ponzi scheme.

A federal jury in Tampa found Michael DaCorta guilty Wednesday of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, money laundering and filing a false income tax return, according to court records. The 57-year-old Sarasota resident faces up to 33 years in prison.

A sentencing date wasn’t immediately set.

DaCorta ran an investment company named Oasis International Group Ltd. from November 2011 through April 2019. According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, DaCorta and others persuaded at least 700 victims to invest in the company through promissory notes and other means, causing victims to lose over $80 million.

DaCorta induced victims to invest by falsely representing that Oasis was reaping enormous profits on foreign exchange trades, prosecutors said. The company actually had no true revenue but used victims’ funds to make Ponzi-style payments to perpetuate the scheme.

DaCorta used the victims’ money to purchase expensive vehicles for his family, a country club membership, multiple million-dollar homes in Florida, college tuition for family, flights on private jets and lavish trips to Europe and the Cayman Islands, officials said.

DaCorta also underreported his income on his 2017 federal income tax return, claiming a negative income and receiving a tax refund.

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