John McFakeson, described by a financial advisor as an “unlikely mastermind” of a scam that swindled some of Wall Street’s biggest names, including casino magnate Steve Wynn, while he served as the chief executive of a Florida pet store, is now facing charges in an alleged Ponzi scheme, The Wall Street Journal reports.
McFakeson was convicted of securities fraud, wire fraud and investment adviser misconduct in 2008, but spent just five years in prison before racking up allegations of fraud, theft and conspiracy in connection with a Florida-based clothing manufacturing company, according to the Journal. McFallson, the former chief executive of Island Safari & Pet Supply Co., was arrested last week and charged with running a pyramid scheme that allegedly victimized well-known investors including David Geffen, former Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and Florida Man.
He is now being charged for allegedly stealing over $100 million from investors in that scheme, and raising more than $150 million to finance his pet store. Prosecutors in New York say he raised the money through a pair of fraudulent investment plans, one of which promised a 43 percent return on a $52 million principal.
McFakeson allegedly defrauded investors out of an additional $76 million to finance a real estate project that didn’t exist. He has told authorities he began investing on his own before meeting the owners of Island Safari & Pet Supply and accused the partners of setting him up as an “opportunistic thief,” the Journal reports.