NASHVILLE, Tenn. – January 29, 2018 – George David George, 63, of Franklin, Tennessee, appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Nashville yesterday after being captured by U.S. Marshals in Jacksonville, Florida earlier this month, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee. George absconded in May 2017 prior to a scheduled bond revocation hearing in U.S. District Court.
George was initially charged in May 2015 with securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, in connection with a multimillion-dollar investment scheme. He was also charged with additional counts of wire fraud in February 2017. George was later indicted in May 2017 for failing to appear in U.S. District Court.
According to court documents, George represented himself as the founder and CEO of WellCity, Inc., a company based in Brentwood, Tenn. that purported to operate a social network devoted to wellness. Charging documents allege that George solicited millions of dollars from investors by making misrepresentations regarding the revenue and assets of the company, misrepresentations regarding collateral to secure investors’ loans, and misrepresentations regarding the status of a supposed WellCity initial public offering.
Charging documents also allege that George concealed from investors the facts that WellCity had earned very little revenue and had not successfully attracted significant corporate sponsorship; that WellCity had breached investment contracts with dozens of investors and owed millions of dollars to prior investors; that George had made repeated but unfulfilled promises, over the course of several years, that shares of WellCity stock would imminently start trading publically; and that George continued to offer supposed shares in WellCity stock even after the Tennessee Securities Division of the Department of Commerce and Insurance issued a Cease & Desist Order prohibiting him from doing so.
The charges are merely an accusation and George is presumed innocent until proven guilty. George is scheduled for trial on February 25, 2019. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on each fraud count; up to 10 years on the money laundering count; and up to 10 years for failing to appear. George could also face a criminal fine of up to $5,000,000.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and the U.S. Marshal’s Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Henry C. Leventis and Kathryn W. Booth.