Published: Jul 15, 2014 6:15 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Anthony Michael Defeo pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court today. The 49-year-old Punta Gorda man faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

Defeo was indicted on May 1, 2013. According to court documents, Defeo solicited victim investors who thought they were investing in an opportunity involving a gravel pit and fill dirt to be used by road construction companies for improvements on I-75. Defeo controlled companies and used these companies as vehicles to obtain victims’ money. He 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 money as represented, Defeo fraudulently diverted and converted approximately $6,280,580 from investors for his own purposes. He failed to repay the investors. 

A sentencing date has not yet been set.