Ponzi scheme takes all of Clearwater woman's money - WFLA News Channel 8

Ponzi scheme takes all of Clearwater woman's money

Posted: Updated:
Ponzi scheme victim Denise Ferrari Ponzi scheme victim Denise Ferrari
CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) - The enticement sounded fantastic. Denise Ferrari could earn 12 percent instead of one percent.

While listening to Tampa Christian radio station, WTBN and later, WGUL, she heard Gary Gauthier tout big returns in the real estate business. The program was called ‘It's God's Money,” said Ferrari and "All about Florida real estate."

"My IRA was a little bit under $86,000," she said and explained, she gave it all to Gauthier.

At first, Ferrari says, interest payments came in. But in less than a year they stopped. Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators say Ferrari's money and money from dozens of others went to Gary Gauthier and David Dreslin of Dreslin Financial Services in Seminole. 
 
Related story:
Seminole man arrested in Ponzi scheme


 They say, since 2005, and until last summer, the pair ran a classic Ponzi scheme, using new investors to pay off old, and themselves.  Most of the victims are over the age of 60. "These people have no conscious. They damaged my life financially and the dollar amount keeps adding up," said Ferrari.

When WTBN radio's General Manager, Barb Yoder, didn't return my phone calls, I went to the station and didn't get an answer. But later, Yoder called to tell me, she has no first-hand information about Gauthier or Dreslin and could not comment. When I pressed for more, she hung up on me.

Denise Ferrari has no problem expressing her anger at the former radio program host and his partner. "Oh my, I wanted to celebrate that these 2 are in a cage. They're not gonna have an opportunity to rip off any more senior citizens or veterans or anybody else," she said.

Dreslin has a half-million dollar home in the exclusive "Botanica" neighborhood. We found a renter in Gauthier's $300,000 home in Largo.

  Stay connected with the news of the day. Download the WFLA news app today. It’s FREE http://8.wfla.com/1etbepy


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:15:59 GMT
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
  • Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:01:38 GMT
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
  • Apple recalls iPhones for battery trouble

    Apple recalls iPhones for battery trouble

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 8:16 AM EDT2014-08-26 12:16:28 GMT
    Noticed your iPhone's battery life getting shorter? You may be eligible for a free replacement.
    Noticed your iPhone's battery life getting shorter? You may be eligible for a free replacement.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Florida's gubernatorial race gets national attention

    Florida's gubernatorial race gets national attention

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-08-27 17:55:18 GMT
    Florida's gubernatorial race - now officially in the general election campaign phase - is already on the national radar as a race to watch."There's no question this race is important nationally, Florida's a bellwether state," said Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who attended Crist's primary night party in Fort Lauderdale.
    Florida's gubernatorial race - now officially in the general election campaign phase - is already on the national radar as a race to watch."There's no question this race is important nationally, Florida's a bellwether state," said Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who attended Crist's primary night party in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Tanker overturns on I-75, spills gas, closes lanes for hours

    Tanker overturns on I-75, spills gas, closes lanes for hours

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:35:25 GMT
    Northbound lanes on Interstate 75 between Bee Ridge Road and Fruitville Road are blocked since Wednesday morning after an accident involving a tanker. Officials say the roadways will not re-open until 8 p.m.
    Northbound lanes on Interstate 75 between Bee Ridge Road and Fruitville Road are blocked since Wednesday morning after an accident involving a tanker. Officials say the roadways will not re-open until 8 p.m.
  • Largo travel club head now caught up in Dr. Oz magic diet pill controversy

    Largo travel club head now caught up in Dr. Oz magic diet pill controversy

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:03 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:03:53 GMT
    File photo: Nicholas Congleton File photo: Nicholas Congleton
    It turns out the subject of an Eight On Your Side investigation of a local travel club has another claim to fame. He's at the heart of a "magic diet pill" promoted by Dr. Oz and vilified by the FTC.That means Nicholas Congleton is at the heart of two business schemes that are under investigating by state and federal consumer protection authorities for misleading or taking advantage of unwitting customers.
    It turns out the subject of an Eight On Your Side investigation of a local travel club has another claim to fame. He's at the heart of a "magic diet pill" promoted by Dr. Oz and vilified by the FTC.That means Nicholas Congleton is at the heart of two business schemes that are under investigating by state and federal consumer protection authorities for misleading or taking advantage of unwitting customers.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.