Donald R. French, Jr., a 25-year-old former Florida Atlantic University student, is accused of running a $10 million Ponzi scheme. According to federal law enforcement, in March 2008, French began a company called D3 Capital Management, LLC to solicit funds from investors. The FBI claims that French, an aspiring actor, used his charm and showy millionaire lifestyle to persuade nearly 50 investors in Florida, Michigan and Massachusetts to invest nearly $10 million in his company D3 Capital. According to court documents, French told potential investors he would invest their monies in foreign currencies, emeralds and an Italian solar energy project. French allegedly promised annual returns of as high as 50 percent.
According to law enforcement, French invested only a small portion of the investors’ funds; instead he allegedly used the money to finance his luxury lifestyle. French allegedly used investors’ funds to finance luxury trips to dozens of countries, to set up a residence in Rome, and to take many high-stakes gambling trips to Las Vegas.
In September, French was arrested for passing bad checks at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas casino. Court document show that between 2008 and 2011, French ran up a $1.48 million credit card bill, withdrew funds totaling around $1.28 million, and incurred gambling debts of over $500,000.
Currently, French is being held in federal custody, without bond, on charges of mail and wire fraud.