Fugitive Lawyer Wanted by FBI for $20M Fraud Scheme Brought to Florida

Michael R. Casey, 71, a fugitive for over four years, wanted on federal charges related to an alleged $20 million investment fraud scheme, had his initial appearance yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge Lauren F. Louis in the Southern District of Florida, Miami division. Casey was captured in Mexico and was extradited to Miami after appearing before a federal judge in Houston in early July.

The FBI had issued a “Wanted” notice for the former Broward County attorney after he failed to appear for an April 29, 2014 court appearance, describing him as “armed and dangerous.” Casey was profiled on the tv show America’s Most Wanted in October 2014.

Federal prosecutors said that Casey, who practiced law in Fort Lauderdale for 36 years, conspired with two convicted felons, one of whom was still serving a term of supervised release, to defraud investors. Casey was once the chairman of the Broward County Bar Association’s Corporation, Banking and Business Law Section and had worked for several well-known law firms.

Casey was the president and in-house lawyer for Commodities Online LLC, a now-defunct company that promised returns of up to 33 percent on short-term commodities contracts, according to federal prosecutors. He was indicted in August 2012 on federal mail and wire fraud conspiracy charges for his alleged involvement in what prosecutors said was an international investment scheme that had defrauded more than 700 investors out of approximately $20 million in less than 18 months.

Casey was released on a $50,000 bond secured by his wife and her parents, according to court records. He was placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring and ordered to obey a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, although he was allowed to leave his home — with prior permission from pre-trial release officials — for some purposes, including visiting relatives in North Carolina, court records show.

In April of 2014, Casey failed to appear at a status hearing while pending trial. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest. In August of 2014, Casey was indicted for bond jumping. In addition to the additional charge, Casey is looking at a 2-level obstruction of justice enhancement under the federal sentencing guidelines if convicted on the underlying fraud conspiracy charges.

Read the U.S. Attorney’s press release here: Fugitive Lawyer Brought to South Florida to Face Federal Fraud Charges