A U.S. citizen and a Canadian citizen were arrested last Thursday in Costa Rica in connection with the operation of a series of fraudulent business opportunities, following their indictment by a federal grand jury in Miami last November, the U.S. Justice Department announced this week.
John White of the U.S. and Kerry Michael Deevy of Canada were arrested on charges that they and their co-conspirators allegedly attempted to sell fraudulent beverage and greeting card business opportunities, including assistance in establishing, maintaining and operating such businesses.
The investigation, which began three months ago, managed to link White and Deevy to a series of frauds committed in 2007 against U.S. citizens.
According to the indictment, the business opportunities the defendants sold cost thousands of dollars each, and most purchasers paid at least $10,000.
Beginning in May 2005, White, Deevy and their co-conspirators are alleged to have fraudulently induced purchasers in the United States to buy business opportunities in USA Beverages Inc., Twin Peaks Gourmet Coffee Inc., Cards-R-Us Inc., Premier Cards Inc., The Coffee Man Inc. and Nation West Distribution Company.
The companies operated for several months, and after one company closed, the next opened. The companies were registered as corporations and rented office space in Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Pennsylvania to make it appear to potential purchasers that their operations were fully in the United States.
The U.S. Department of Justice intends to seek the extradition of White and Deevy, who are still under the custody of Costa Rican authorities.