Pinellas man charged with running $6 million Ponzi scheme

Published Jan. 18, 2014

A Pinellas man under investigation in connection with a Ponzi scheme that duped investors out of more than $6 million turned himself in to authorities Thursday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported.

Authorities arrested David George Dreslin, 54, of Seminole, and held him on $920,000 bail at the Pinellas County Jail.

The investigation, headed by the FDLE and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, led authorities to believe Dreslin lured investors to put money up for real estate projects that never materialized, authorities said.

Dreslin, who is an accountant, persuaded clients to buy shares in development projects and promised big returns in a short period of time. But Dreslin never owned all the properties he proffered, and used clients' money as personal income or to pay other investors, the FDLE said.

"Dreslin's victims were convinced to liquidate their retirement accounts and in some instances cash out the equity of their homes," FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said. "For many victims, the scam resulted in the loss of their life savings."

Dreslin is charged with racketeering, conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity, sale of an unregistered security, sale of a security by an unregistered dealer, security fraud and organized fraud.