Published: Jun 06, 2013 5:29 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 06, 2013 5:31 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Anthony Michael Defeo, 48, of Punta Gorda, was indicted on eight counts of wire fraud today. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count, a fine of up to $250,000, and restitution to his victims.

The indictment also notifies Defeo that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $6,280,580.00, the proceeds of the offense.

According to the indictment, Defeo solicited victim investors who thought they were investing in an opportunity involving road improvements on I-75, along the west coast of Florida. Specifically, Defeo misrepresented to victim investors that he had lucrative contracts and purchase orders with a legitimate corporation engaged in asphalt paving, grading, and related services for roadway and civil construction projects. Instead of using the victim investors’ money as represented, Defeo used the investors’ money for his own purposes. The indictment alleges that Defeo fraudulently diverted and converted approximately $6,280,580 in monies from investors for his own purposes and has failed to repay these investors.

An indictment is a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.