STUART — A Stuart man is facing fraud charges after being accused of swindling two dozen people in a $7 million Ponzi scheme regarding the sale of airplane parts, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement news release.
Roger Green, 78, of Stuart, and Victor Brown, 55, of Hollywood, are charged with one count each of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.
Both men were arrested without incident at their homes Wednesday and as of Friday evening were being held at the Broward County Jail on $1 million bail each.
According to the news release, the investigation, named Operation Usual Suspects, began in 2009 after victims contacted FDLE about the two men, who were owners of the former Military Air Parts International business in Broward County.
Between 2004 and 2007 about 24 investors in the state and elsewhere invested money through the fraudulent sale of aircraft parts, the release states. The scheme involved the men claiming to purchase airplane parts that the Federal Aviation Administration had approved for resale.
Brown and Green allegedly told investors that they had committed buyers for high-demand aircraft parts. The duo then presold the parts before the investors signed the investment contracts, with investors told they would receive a return of up to 18 percent on their investment within six months.
However, Green and Brown did not buy or own the aircraft parts they were offering to sell. A few aircraft parts they did obtain were used to get more money from more people, the release states.
Green and Brown are accused of spending the money on personal items such as gambling and expensive cars, the release states.