FDLE arrests two in seven-figure Ponzi scheme


For Immediate Release

September 25, 2020

Cape Canaveral, Fla. - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested David Wade Watson, 62, of 8211 Presidential Court, Cape Canaveral, and Rajshree Patel, 45, of 2670 Concord Road, Deland, on charges of organized scheme to defraud after defrauding investors of nearly $2.5 million. 

Since 2015, Watson and Patel solicited a handful of investors, claiming Watson was awaiting billions of dollars in civil settlements from the U.S. Government. He told investors he needed additional money to help settle the lawsuits and, once they were settled and the funds released, he would pay them millions or billions of dollars for every $1,000 invested. 

Watson and Patel initially told victims that the lawsuit stemmed from his work as a classified agent with the federal government.  In a later scam, they told investors Watson started a successful film company (Mazzone Films) and asked them to invest in that company.  The company was also supposedly awaiting funds from a lawsuit. 

In both cases, Watson and Patel created fraudulent statements to show investors, but told them the lawsuits were confidential and calling to inquire about them would jeopardize the settlements.  He used money from new investors to pay some money back to the initial investors, but most of the investor money was spent for the pair to live an extravagant lifestyle. 

Watson and Patel were arrested this morning. Watson was booked into the Brevard County Jail, and Patel was booked into the Volusia County Jail, each on $250,000 bond.  Both are charged with organized scheme to defraud. 

The case is being prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit.

For Further Information Contact:

Gretl Plessinger, Jessica Cary or Jeremy Burns

FDLE Office of Public Information

(850) 410-7001