Former Destin Area Man Federally Indicted for Investment Fraud Scheme and Money Laundering

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PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – John E. Acker, 52, formerly of Santa Rosa Beach, has been charged with 37 counts of wire fraud and 7 counts of money laundering. The indictment was announced today by Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, following Acker’s arrest Tuesday night in Lee County, Florida.

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. He allegedly told investors the “deal” was for a purchase and sale, or “flip,” of a property or business. Acker is charged with using those funds meant for investments to instead 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. He purportedly 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 proceeds of his investment fraud scheme by making large payments and monetary transfers in excess of $10,000.

Aker’s trial date will be set upon his appearance in the United States District Court in Pensacola.

This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Alicia Forbes and Ryan Love are prosecuting this case.

An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

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