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The Villages
Saturday, December 9, 2023

Villager who lured potential investors with meals jailed on fraud charges

John Michael Gissas
John Michael Gissas

A Villager known for luring potential investors with meals at restaurants has been jailed on a long list of fraud charges.

John Michael Gissas, 73, of the Village of Gilchrist, was booked without bond Thursday at the Sumter County Detention Center.

He and his financial firm had been under the cloud of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation since 2020.

Gissas, who operated Retirement Evolution Group LLC of Wildwood has been accused of raising money for Par Funding, whose owners made “opportunistic loans” to small business owners across America – some at interest rates as high as 400 percent, according to the SEC filing. The Connecticut native raised more than $5.4 million from at least 62 investors for Par Funding through the offer and sale of promissory notes.

John Gissas of Retirement Evolution Group LLC, at left, organized presentations at VKI Japanese Steakhouse at Lake Sumter Landing.

Gissas, who liked to court investors over a meal at restaurants in The Villages, reportedly tried to reassure potential investors that an insurance policy would protect them if the business owners could not repay the high interest loans

Gissas had operated an office located at Freedom Plaza on State Road 44 near Brownwood.

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