Man sentenced to 25 years in prison for Ponzi scheme, to pay victims $5M

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Allen Roy Duquet and co-defendant Michael Charde in a 2019 SAO image.

A Marco Island man was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison for his part in a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Allen Roy Duquet, 70, was also ordered to pay his victims $5,074,750 in restitution.

Duquet pleaded no contest to charges of RICO, RICO conspiracy, aggravated white-collar crime, and money laundering. Duquet’s prison sentence will be followed by 10 years of probation.

Duquet was arrested in 2019 as part of the State Attorney’s Office “Operation Ponzi Scheme.”

While big plans were in store for the new Sunseeker Resort at Charlotte Harbor, investigators said Duquet, a Marco Island Realtor, was working to con a couple out of their money.

Duquet schemed one Charlotte County family out of $400,000. The couple sold their property and thought they were getting a sweet deal on a brand new Sunseeker condo.

Duquet was involved in the sale of the Seahorse Marina property in 2017. The family business was destroyed during Hurricane Charley, and the developer of Sunseeker was looking to build there.

But an affidavit said Duquet then tricked the family into investing $400,000 in one of the new condos, promising to put $300,000 of that in an escrow account and another $100,000 toward a bogus incentive program. Investigators said Duquet was taking the money and spending it.

The couple said they notified authorities immediately when they became aware of Duquet’s questionable activities, becoming part of the active investigation.

“Our investigation into the alleged multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme identified more than two dozen financial crime victims. The complex scheme involves, in part, real estate and the misappropriation of escrow funds,” the SAO said.

Co-defendant Joseph Bernard Charde, of Marco Island, has a hearing set for August.

Assistant State Attorney J.D. Miller, Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit and Assistant State Attorney Tino Cimato of the Economic Crimes Unit are prosecuting the cases.

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