ORMOND BEACH, FL – Tomas Loebel, 57, once owned Daytona Plastix Inc. but today he is in the news for his Ponzi scheme which helped him cheat his own friends of more than $1
million. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his scam.
Loebel, a businessman from Ormond Beach pleaded no contest to the organized scheme to defraud people last year. He managed to get people to part with their money stating that he would invest it in a fernery business. This business, called “The Rose Garden” did not even exist but managed to get the money from Loebel’s rich friends. The circle of friends included doctors, business men and lawyers. Some of these friends he had met through the Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach. He enticed them into his Ponzi scheme by promising a whopping 60% returns.
Loebel used his ill- gotten gains to live an opulent life and feed his gambling addiction as well. Using his friends apparently has not given Loebel any pause for thought. One friend, a dentist by the name of Dr. Bruce Manne says he has given more than $200,000 to Loebel and says that he let the friendship get in the way and failed to investigate the details of the business venture thoroughly.
Yet another friend, Dr. Ken Lucas, a local doctor has lent Loebel with $700,000 and his son Jeroen Lucas expressed happiness with the judgment on Loebel. All this money is lost in the Ponzi scheme.
According to James Disinger, the prosecutor, such a company did not exist and he asked for 10 years prison time and 20 years’ probation for Loebel. Mike Lambert, the defense lawyer pleaded for some leniency since Loebel is said to have a gambling problem. Loebel, in his defense, stated that he has joined Gamblers Anonymous for a couple of years now. He also said that he wanted to pay back the money that he has stolen from everyone.
Loebel seems to have a predilection to commit fraud since he has also been accused of selling unregistered securities in a separate case which is due for trial in May. Loebel has been brought to book after a long investigation by the State Attorney’s office. Ponzi schemes dry up eventually but people like Loebel perhaps will never learn this fact.