Federal authorities announced Monday that they had arrested a Windermere couple accused of wire fraud at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as they waited for a flight to London. Michael Rivers, 48, and Kim Rivers, 45, are accused of defrauding unsuspecting business investors out of millions of dollars in a wire fraud scheme that dates back over three years.
A criminal complaint filed in the case says that Michael and Kim Rivers used their own company, Global Business Genesis, to carry out this scheme that began in 2010. According to the complaint, they told investors that Global Business Genesis was creating a partnership to establish banking relations in Kenya that would allow the company to become one of the largest providers of prepaid currency credit cards in the world. United States Secret Service agents investigating the case said that two victims made an initial investment of $200,000 in July of 2010. Within weeks, the Riverses made a $25,000 deposit on a Jaguar XK-R, rented a limousine, bought tickets to Cirque Du Soleil, dined out, and made a $4,000 payment to the attorney who defended Michael Rivers in a Securities and Exchange Commission action. The two victims in the Global Business Genesis case eventually filed suit in Orange County Circuit Court, alleging investment fraud. In February 2012, a judge found the Riverses were liable for $323,550.
Michael and Kim Rivers each face a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. If convicted, each could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in a federal prison.