Detroit Ponzi Schemer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

A man accused of operating a Ponzi scheme whose victims included a public school district was sentenced to ten years in federal prison today and ordered to pay restitution to defrauded investors.   Dante DeMiro, 44, of Milford, Michigan, pled guilty in April to five charges including bank and wire fraud that carried a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison, as well as admitting that his fraud exceeded $7 million.

DeMiro operated investment firms MuniVest Financial Group and MuniVest Services LLC in Southfield, Michigan.  From 2007 to 2010, DeMiro accepted investor funds falsely representing that low-risk certificates of deposit would be purchased.  Investors were later provided with screenshots purporting to represent their investments.  But instead of purchasing the certificates of deposit, DeMiro instead used investor funds to make payments to other investors, purchase luxury items, and gamble. Notable among the victims were several municipalities, a public school district, and a credit union serving church members.  One source pegged the total losses to victims at nearly $13 million.  

In addition to his prison sentence, DeMiro was also ordered to pay restitution of $12.9 million.  DeMiro's defrauded investors will also be able to share in proceeds of the nearly $1 million of assets seized by authorities following DeMiro's arrest and able to be sold following DeMiro's recent guilty plea.