Victims detail million-dollar fraud charges against Florida ex-con

Miami HeraldAugust 22, 2011 

After he left state prison on June 1, 2008, Michael Scott Segal lost no time trying to get back on his feet the best way he knew how: sweet-talking prospective investors into funding his foreign-trade projects.

The gambit worked perfectly in the 1990s, enabling Segal to support himself, his wife and various girlfriends in high style, send his kids to private school, and create a veneer of solid citizenship through splashy philanthropic gestures.

Problem was, when his backers wanted their money, all Segal had to give them were excuses.

So, despite the flood of lawsuits that followed many futile attempts to cash out, a blog called, and a well-publicized, seven-year hitch in the slammer for trying to kill his mistress in 2001, Segal might have figured it would work again.

And it did.

By the time he turned himself in to federal agents on Aug. 10, Segal, 50, had swindled $1.3 million from people who’d bought into his company, Bright Jewel Holdings Limited Inc., according to the indictment, which has him facing 12 counts of mail and wire fraud — each count punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The indictment alleges that from November 2008 to February 2011, “Segal devised a scheme to defraud investors using materially false representations. To execute his scheme, Segal solicited family, friends, and others to invest [and] offered various purported investment opportunities, including the purchase of inexpensive consumer goods from China, a land development project in China, and a Venezuelan security cargo locks deal.’’

Segal, Palmetto Senior High, class of 1978, seemed to pick up right where he left off before he was locked up, when he called himself CEO of Far East Ventures and pitched exactly the same projects

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