Marco Island realtor accused of Ponzi scheme, stealing $400K
Deceiving promises were part of a Ponzi scheme in Southwest Florida. While big plans were in store for the new Sunseeker Resort at Charlotte Harbor, investigators said a Marco Island realtor was working to con a couple out of their money. They believe there are more victims.
Allen Duquet, a Marco Island realtor, is accused of scheming a Charlotte County family out of $400,000.
“It is quite the bizarre case,” said Joann Henry, a real estate attorney.
The couple sold their property and thought they were getting a sweet deal on a brand new Sunseeker condominium.
Duquet was involved in the sale of the Seahorse Marina property in 2017. The family business was destroyed during Hurricane Charley, and the developer of Sunseeker was looking to build there.
But an affidavit said Duquet then tricked the family into investing 400,000 in one of the new condos. This was promising to put $300,000 of that in an escrow account and another $100,00 to a bogus incentive program. Investigators Duquet was taking the money and spending it.
The couple said they notified authorities immediately when they became aware of Duquet’s questionable activities, becoming part of the active investigation.
“We have the utmost confidence in the office of the state attorney and faith in the criminal justice system,” the couple said in a statement submitted to WINK News.
The affidavit said the broker of the real estate company and the attorney involved in the closing of the Seahorse Marina purchase may have been in on the scheme.
The attorney told WINK News he had no idea what was happening.
“Somebody had submitted our name as the registered agent for Oneir under Sunbiz to the Secretary of State for Florida,” Attorney James Karl said. “But that document that put us in as a registered agent has a signature on it that’s not my signature. It’s a forgery.”