By RACHAEL LONG
A former Brentwood CEO appeared before a U.S. Magistrate in Nashville Monday after his capture in Jacksonville, Florida earlier this month, according to U.S. Attorney Don Cochran.
Cochran, for the Middle District of Tennessee, said in a press release that George David George of Franklin faces several charges, many dating back to May 2015. According to the press release, George did not appear in U.S. District Court for a bond revocation hearing. He was later indicted in May 2017 for failing to appear in court.
Initially charged with felony counts of securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, in connection with a multimillion-dollar investment scheme, George, 63, also faces additional counts of wire fraud dated February 2017.
George represented himself as the founder and CEO of WellCity, Inc., which created a social media network devoted to wellness, according to court documents.
Charging documents allege that George solicited millions of dollars from his investors by misrepresenting the company in terms of its revenue and assets, collateral to secure investors’ loans and the status of the company’s initial public offering.
George, according to charging documents, allegedly concealed from investors that WellCity had earned little revenue; the company had not successfully attracted significant corporate sponsorship; WellCity had breached investment contracts with dozens of investors and owed millions of dollars to former investors; George had made over the course of several years repeated yet unfulfilled promises that company shares would imminently start trading publicly; and that George had continued to offer supposed shares in WellCity even after he was served a Cease & Desist Order from the Tennessee Securities Division of the Department of Commerce and Insurance.
George’s case was investigated by the FBI, the IRS as a criminal investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Marshal’s Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Henry C. Leventis and Kathryn W. Booth.
Cochran’s office reminds the public that the charges are an accusation and George is presumed innocent of these charges until proven guilty.
If convicted, George faces up to 20 years in prison on each count of fraud, up to 10 years for the count of money laundering, and up to 10 years for failing to appear in court. He could also face a criminal fine of up to $5 million.
George is scheduled to appear for trial on Feb. 25, 2019.