Authorities have finally caught Nashville swindler George David George in St. Johns County Florida. George pleaded guilty to duping investors out of $3 million in a scam involving a social media network focused on wellness. He was accused of securities fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and just about every other white collar crime you can think of. Before sentencing, George fled Nashville where he remained in the wind until recently.
George faced a 20-year prison sentence for using the investors’ money for personal use, including depositing some of it in a local casino. He remained at-large for more than two years before authorities caught up with him in Florida.
A professor at the University of Central Florida says that Florida often acts as a “new frontier” for fugitives. The question is: Why here? What makes one state a solid spot to run from the law while another spot would shine a negative light on you.
Firstly, fugitives must be able to hide in plain sight. This means becoming members of their community, gaining employment, and setting up a whole new life. It may also mean avoiding things like driver’s licenses or situations in which there will be fingerprinting involved. It also helps if you’re not involved in a very high-profile crime.
Clearly, George was involved in a high-profile crime and there are newspaper articles to prove it. As Hans Gruber says in Die Hard, if you steal a few thousand dollars, you can disappear. But if you steal a few million, they will find you (unless they think you’re already dead). No one thought that George was dead.
Paula Carroll Hides Out in Florida for 35 Years
Paula Carroll, who escaped from prison in 1975, was found 35 years later in Space Coast, Florida living under the name Sharon Brown. She was sentenced to 5 years in prison for concealing stolen merchandise in her St. Cloud apartment. By the time police caught up her, she had begun a new life, married, and had children. She even served on the school board.
Florida: A Great State for Fugitives
For a fugitive, small towns or rural areas are less desirable than major cities with public transit systems. It’s easier to blend in amid a diversity of people and it’s easier to hide in plain sight when new arrivals aren’t scrutinized.
Florida also has its own fugitive problem to deal with. These, of course, would be a priority over those who fled here from other states. Still, George was likely to be caught sooner or later. Not only was his case high-profile but he was a fugitive from federal authorities. Nonetheless, he managed to last two years on the run during which Florida acted as a perfect shelter.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Fraud Attorney
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. has helped those charged with crimes in West Palm Beach defend themselves from various criminal charges including white-collar crimes. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment today.