St. Petersburg Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Church
Church members gave him money for a construction project. Instead of using the funds for the project, he used the money for his personal benefit, the U.S. Attorney said.
TAMPA – A St. Petersburg man has pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding a church and other parties, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Victor Thomas Clavizzao, 56, of St. Petersburg, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.
According to the plea agreement, Clavizzao, going by the name of “Victor Thomas,” opened a series of companies, and represented to others, including a local church, that he had the ability to help them conduct real estate transactions.
Clavizzao convinced the church, which was seeking to construct a new building, to give him money. The church members believed that the money they gave to Clavizzao would be used to secure financing and to handle issues related to their construction project. Instead of aiding the church, Clavizzao used $16,350 of the church’s funds for his personal benefit.
When Clavizzao began his scheme, he was on federal supervised release for another real-estate-related fraud conviction.
U.S. Attorney | Crime | Wire Fraud | Tampabay News
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