Tampa, Florida – U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that following a 13-day trial, a federal jury has found Michael J. DaCorta (57, Sarasota) guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, money laundering and filing a false tax return. DaCorta faces a combined maximum sentence of 33 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set. DaCorta had been charged in a superseding indictment in February 2021.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, from November 2011 to April 18, 2019, DaCorta ran an investment firm named Oasis International Group, Ltd. (“OASIS”). DaCorta and his co-conspirators persuaded at least 700 victims to invest in OASIS through promissory notes and other means, causing victims to lose more than $80 million. DaCorta, who had effectively been banned from trading foreign exchange (“FOREX”) by agreement with the National Futures Association, enticed victims to invest in OASIS by falsely telling victim-investors that OASIS was reaping huge profits by being a “market maker” and collecting “spread” on large FOREX trades. DaCorta also presented the opportunity as essentially risk-free and OASIS as well secured. “spread” income was paid on each trade by OASIS to OASIS to create the illusion of income, which was published to investors on fictitious account statements and an online investor portal. of online investors showed the “spread” credits but hid catastrophic underlying trading losses.
DaCorta and his conspirators used the balance of the victim-investor funds to make Ponzi payments to perpetuate the scheme and finance lavish lifestyles. For example, DaCorta used victim-investor funds to buy a Maserati and Range Rovers for his family members, a country club membership, several million-dollar homes in Florida, college tuition for family members, flights in private jets and lavish trips to Europe and the Cayman Islands. DaCorta also underreported his income on his 2017 federal tax return, reporting negative income and receiving a tax refund.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Futures Association and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation . He is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Rachelle DesVaux Bedke, Frank Murray and David WA Chee.