Michael R. Casey, the former Greenberg Traurig attorney who jumped bail in 2014 while being tried for his involvement in a $21 million securities fraud scheme, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Casey entered his plea on Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrea M. Simonton in Miami. On Aug. 31, the former attorney also entered a guilty plea on separate felony bail jumping charges.
Read Casey’s 2012 indictment:
Casey’s current circumstances are a precipitous decline from the prestige he once enjoyed as a well-respected South Florida attorney. In addition to his time spent with Greenberg Traurig, Casey was also once a partner at Miami business law firm Berger Singerman, as well as with Adorno & Yoss, prior to its implosion. He was also heavily involved in South Florida’s larger legal community, having once served as the chairman of the Broward County Bar Association’s corporation, banking and business law section.
The conspiracy charge against Casey concerned his time spent as in-house counsel and later CEO for Fort Lauderdale-based financial services company Commodities Online. According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Casey and several co-conspirators “used material false and fraudulent representations and material omissions to obtain over $21 million from over 770 investors” between January 2010 and April 2011.
“Casey and his co-conspirators offered a stated percentage return on investment, such as 10 percent within 30 days, or 20 percent within 70 days,” the release said. “However, the specific purported contracts—for which investors sent COL money—did not exist as represented to investors.”
Following his indictment on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit both in 2012, Casey fled the United States in April 2014, after entering a plea of not guilty. He told a federal judge in August that he had spent four years in Mexico, earning a living as a translator and English teacher, prior to being extradited back to the U.S. earlier this year.
Sentencing for the conspiracy and failure to appear charges is scheduled for Nov. 27, with Chief U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore presiding.
Casey’s attorney, Miami-based private practitioner Victor Rocha, did not respond to inquires for comment by press time. Rocha previously told the Daily Business Review that his client “deeply regrets his conduct and expressed his remorse to the court,” and hoped the court would take Casey’s history and age into consideration before pronouncing sentence.