FDLE agents arrested Bernard McBride Jr., 57, of 3458 Saulstars Court, Sarasota for four counts of grand theft that took place over a year.
In 2014, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation received a victim complaint related to investment fraud and began conducting a joint investigation along with FDLE and the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
The joint investigation showed McBride established a shell company, Tutela Mining Inc., in Florida to facilitate the sophisticated sale of fraudulent convertible promissory notes (CPNs) to victims, mostly seniors, who lived in Florida as well as South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Experiencing high pressure sales tactics in the form of constant telephone calls and email solicitations from a West Palm Beach telemarketing company employed by McBride, the victims were persuaded to make the initial or additional purchases of CPNs. The money was deposited in McBride’s bank accounts. The sales totaled $281,224.41 and McBride used the money for his own personal enrichment.
On Monday, October 15, McBride was arrested and booked into Sarasota County Jail and charged with three counts of grand theft ($20,000-$100,000) and one count of grand theft ($100,000 or more). The Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution is prosecuting this case.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office offers a brochure, “Savvy Consumers Can Stop Fraud: A Guide for Seniors” which provides valuable guidelines and steps for consumers to take to protect their interests.