Florida Office of Financial Regulation

Tarpon Springs Man Enters Guilty Plea in Investment Fraud Scheme

08/07/2017

 
For Immediate Release                               
August 7, 2017
 
Media Contacts:
Jamie Mongiovi (850) 410-9709
Katie Norris (850) 410-9826
Twitter: @FlFinancialReg
 
Tarpon Springs Man Enters Guilty Plea in Investment Fraud Scheme
 
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) today announced that John Edward Simpson, 64, entered a plea of guilty to eight felony counts of grand theft, 12 felony counts of securities fraud, 12 felony counts of failing to register a security, and 12 felony counts of failing to register as a securities dealer. Simpson, a resident of Tarpon Springs, perpetrated an investment fraud scheme out of Safety Harbor.
 
“Protecting Floridians from financial fraud is our top priority. This scammer falsely promised a return on investment using a fake security system pitch to deceive victims,” said OFR Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear. “I am proud of our investigative team, which gathered evidence, conducted interviews, and financial analyses, to ensure that Floridians received a positive outcome in this case.”
 
Simpson told at least 20 victim investors across the country that his company, Defense Technology Corporation DTC, LLC (DTC), had developed a security system to be manufactured and marketed to schools and universities in the United States. Simpson issued stock and promissory notes in DTC, but never established any revenue or customers. Contrary to representations, the majority of victims’ money was not used to further the business, but instead was used to pay Simpson’s “salary” and personal living expenses.
 
The OFR appreciates the assistance of the Tarpon Springs Police Department and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.
 
If you feel that you may be a victim of fraud or to report suspicious activity, please file a complaint with the OFR online, www.flofr.com, or call (850) 487-9687.
 
# # #