‘Where is he?:’ Jacksonville Ponzi scheme victimizes 50 people, suspect on the run

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is on the lookout for the suspect of a real estate Ponzi scheme that involved more than 50 victims and $4 million.

Cedric Griffin, 47, is wanted for organized fraud. Prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office are now in a holding pattern as it waits for Griffin to turn himself in.

“For the Jacksonville area, this is a fairly large scheme. This is a confidence scheme built on a network of trust,” Assistant State Attorney Adam Duso for the 4th Judicial Circuit said.

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Duso added that the network involved family and church members and most victims were African American. As he built trust, prosecutors said more victims were added to the scheme. Griffin allegedly promised investors up to 15% return for his real estate deals including flipping houses and buying property. The scheme lasted about two years.

“When the house of cards started to fall for him, and that happened some time ago — he wrapped up his operation; closed dozens of bank accounts. The money filtered in ways that became difficult to track,” Duso told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant.

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Griffin’s active warrant actually started with a separate case involving his real estate company, Premier Coast Realty. Prosecutors said the suspect pocketed commissions from his agents without paying them. He faces five counts of grand theft and failed to show up for a pretrial hearing.

The State Attorney’s Office is asking anyone who knows where Griffin is to call police.

Prosecutors hope he gets 30 years in prison for the charges he faces.

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