Michael Kerry Deevy, a Canadian citizen, on Tuesday was found guilty in connection with a series of business fraud ventures based in Costa Rica, the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service reported.
U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz sentenced Deevy to 60 months in prison and 5 years of supervised release. He also was ordered to pay $4,541,914 in restitution.
Deevy and a U.S. man named John White were arrested in Costa Rica and extradited to the U.S. in February last year, following his indictment by a federal grand jury in Miami on Nov. 29, 2011.
Prior to Deevy’s sentencing, 11 other individuals were charged in connection with related business fraud ventures. Deevy is the ninth of those individuals to be convicted and sentenced in the U.S.
Beginning in 2006, Deevy and his co-conspirators in Costa Rica are alleged to have fraudulently induced purchasers in the U.S. to buy business opportunities from companies known as Cards-R-Us Inc., Premier Cards Inc. and Nation West. The business opportunities cost purchasers thousands of dollars each, with most paying at least $10,000.
On April 11, Deevy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of mail fraud and nine counts of wire fraud in connection with the scheme.
The indictment alleged that Deevy and his co-conspirators purported to sell greeting card and vending machine business opportunities, including assistance in establishing, maintaining and operating these businesses. Each company operated for several months, and after one company closed, another one opened.
“Today’s sentence will hopefully send a message to those who are contemplating engaging in schemes such as this that, no matter where you are, we will pursue and prosecute you and bring you to justice for these illegal schemes,” said Wifredo Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.