Feds charge Santa Rosa Beach man with wire fraud and money laundering

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WMBB) — A Santa Rosa Beach man was charged by federal prosecutors after he allegedly promised investors he had deals with “high guaranteed returns.”

John E. Acker, 52, formerly of Santa Rosa Beach, was charged with 37 counts of wire fraud and 7 counts of money laundering.

“The indictment alleges that between 2013 and 2020, Acker solicited and induced numerous individuals and corporations to invest money with him by making various fraudulent misrepresentations, including that the investment was for a real estate or other business-related “deal” with high guaranteed returns,” prosecutors wrote in a news release. “He allegedly told investors the “deal” was for a purchase and sale, or “flip,” of a property or business.”

Prosecutors added that Acker took the money meant for investments to pay for his personal expenses or pay back prior investors whose funds had previously been misused.

“The indictment also alleges that Acker made other false statements to gain investors’ trust and influence them to invest, such as mischaracterizing or falsifying his relationship with attorneys, business owners, or other prominent members of the community and claiming he had independent wealth from a trust fund,” they said. And he “used his corporate entities, including Miracle Strip Holdings X LLC, Fujimo Development LLC, and Shipwreck Road LLC, to commit the alleged fraud.”

Acker is also charged with laundering the money from the scheme by making large payments and monetary transfers in excess of $10,000.

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