© St. Petersburg Times, published March 15, 2002
TAMPA -- Federal authorities have filed criminal charges against a Dunedin man accused of bilking millions of dollars from the clients of an investment company he ran.
Danny Lee Wey, director of Millennium Investment of Clearwater, faces charges of selling unregistered securities, according to court documents. Wey, 53, appeared in federal court Thursday and was released on a $20,000 bond.
Starting in 1996, Wey promoted the sale of eight-month "certificates of special commercial notes." His materials claimed the money would be used to help finance emerging businesses and/or provide short-term loans to those businesses, the FBI said.
The materials also claimed that any outstanding money owed by Millennium would be guaranteed by the Bank of Bermuda. But the guarantee did not exist, federal authorities said.
Between October 1996 and June 1999, Millennium issued about 250 promissory notes to about 130 investors for $6.8-million. The Millennium securities had never been registered, a violation of federal regulations, according to court documents.
In October 1999, state officials closed Millennium. Pinellas Circuit Judge Crockett Farnell appointed a receiver to take control of its assets, along with those of several other companies. He also granted Florida Comptroller Robert Milligan's request for a temporary injunction against the companies and their agents to stop the sale of unregistered securities.
Wey, who could not be reached for comment, was convicted in 1989 of multiple felonies in connection with an unrelated investment scam, a fact not mentioned in Millennium promotional materials.
-- Times' news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Graham Brink at (813) 226-3365 or firstname.lastname@example.org.