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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Botfly Ponzi Man Gets 20 Years in Prison

(CN) - A man who ran a $30 million Ponzi scheme was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for mail fraud and ordered to forfeit $29.8 million. David Lewalski, 48, of Gainesville, Fla., also must give up computer equipment he used to run the scam.

Prosecutors say Lewalski ran Botfly LLC, which promised returns of up to 10 percent per month in the foreign currency market.

"Lewalski received approximately $30 million from more than 500 investors," prosecutors said in a statement announcing his sentence. "Lewalski invested only a small portion of these investor funds in trading activities and generated little if any profits trading foreign currency. Lewalski paid out purported 'interest payments' totaling approximately $15 million to investors using other investors' money to perpetuate the fraud."

Lewalski spent millions of dollars of his suckers' money on New York City real estate, private jets, clothing, luxury automobiles, including Porsches and a Ferrari, and a gold and diamond Rolex watch.

He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James Whittemore in the Middle District of Florida.

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