Man Wanted in Alleged OC Ponzi Scheme Arrested in Florida

Edward Fitzgerald is facing 58 counts of fraud, grand theft and elder abuse, according to authorities.

By Vikki Vargas and Neil Costes
|  Tuesday, May 14, 2013  |  Updated 11:13 PM PDT
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A man arrested in Florida is expected to be brought back to Southern California to face charges in an alleged ponzi scheme targeting investors in Orange County. Edward Fitzgerald, 60, faces 58 counts of fraud, grand theft and elder abuse. Vikki Vargas reports from Dana Point for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 14, 2013.

Vikki Vargas

A man arrested in Florida is expected to be brought back to Southern California to face charges in an alleged ponzi scheme targeting investors in Orange County. Edward Fitzgerald, 60, faces 58 counts of fraud, grand theft and elder abuse. Vikki Vargas reports from Dana Point for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 14, 2013.

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A former Dana Point yacht broker is expected to be brought back to Southern California to face fraud and other charges related to an alleged ponzi scheme.

Edward Fitzgerald was arrested Florida and Southern California deputies are expected to fly next week to the southeastern state to gain custody of him, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Fitzgerald ran a brokerage called Dana Island Yacht Sales and Charters, buying and selling boats with what prosecutors say was other people's money.

Jerry Summers said Fitzgerald asked him to invest $200,000 in a yacht.

"I gave him half -- $100,000 -- and then the real fun began," Summers said.

Summers said the boat was a lemon, not even worth the $200,000, let alone worth enough to turn a profit. Summers threatened Fitzgerald and got his money back. Others, prosecutors say, weren't as lucky.

Richard Carnesale lost tens of thousands of dollars allegedly to a man he thought was his friend.

"I honestly thought he thought he could go on taking money, robbing Peter to pay Paul," Carnesale said.

Fitzgerald is facing 58 counts of fraud, grand theft and elder abuse.

Prosecutors accuse Fitzgerald of taking a total of $1.6 million, which also happens to be his bail amount.

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