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Business Observer Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022 4 months ago

Former chamber of commerce president faces decades in prison for theft

The 50-year-old former president of Central Pasco County Chamber of Commerce has pleaded guilty to stealing from the organization.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

A former president of the then-Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce is facing 60 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $100,000 from the merchant’s association.

David Gainer Jr., 50, who was the head of the organization and its treasurer, has pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud, each carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years. He has also agreed to forfeit $104,689, which is the amount of money the U.S. Department of Justice says he “fraudulently misappropriated.”

The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce is now the Greater Pasco Chamber after merging in 2019 with the West Pasco Chamber. There is no record of Gainer on the Greater Pasco Chamber’s website.

The organization did not respond to a request for comment about its relationship with the former group.

According to the plea agreement, Gainer, in his position with the chamber, was able to get details about the organization’s finances, including bank account numbers, bank balances, login information for accounts, and debit and credit card numbers.

Armed with that intelligence, he withdrew money from the chamber’s accounts transferring it to his personal accounts. He got the money from ATMs, from bank tellers, by writing chamber checks to himself and buying money orders made payable to himself.

Gainer used the money, according to the plea agreement, to pay bills and cover debts as well as for “his own personal enrichment.”

Among the transactions highlighted in the plea agreement, on June 19, 2017, Gainer transferred $2,035 from the chamber’s account with Synovus Bank to a personal account with Regions Bank. He did it again Nov. 29, 2017, this time transferring $1,700, and on May, 4, 2018, transferring $8,000. The money from the two latter transactions went to Gainer’s personal Synovus account.

Making these transfers, and others, “caused the transmission of information via intranet servers, which were located outside of Florida,” according to prosecutors.

Court records do say he tried to conceal the thefts but do not say how. The records also don’t say why he stopped or how, or when, he was caught.

Gainer’s theft, according to court records, began as early as July 1, 2015, though the exact date is not known to investigators, and lasted until August 2018.

The plea agreement was entered into in June 15 and approved by a federal judge July 12.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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