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The Villages
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Accused swindler in The Villages asks judge to allow contact with wife and son

John Michael Gissas
John Michael Gissas

A Villager who allegedly who stole more than $3 million from fellow residents is asking a judge to allow him to have contact with his wife and son.

Judge Mary Hatcher will be considering a motion in the case of 73-year-old John Michael Gissas of the Village of Gilchrist at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Sumter County Court.

Gissas was released Nov. 4 from the Sumter County Detention Center after posting $660,000 bond. As conditions of his bond, he was ordered to remain in Sumter County, wear an ankle monitor, not consume alcohol and not to have any contact with any “state witness,” which for the moment includes his wife and son. Gissas’ attorney is arguing that it an unrealistic restriction and hoping to have it lifted.

According to the investigation that led to his arrest, Gissas placed ads in The Villages Daily Sun inviting residents to his investment seminars at the Waterfront Inn and VKI Japanese Steakhouse at Lake Sumter Landing. A Villages couple saw the ad in 2019 and attended Gissas’ seminar. They gave him $529,854 and never got a penny of it back. Another Villager lost $794,000 when she invested with Gissas. A total of 27 investors lost a total of $3.7 million with Gissas, according to the investigation report. There were said to be others who either could not be contacted or were too embarrassed to go on the record. The financial crimes investigator for the Florida Office of Financial Regulation found that Gissas from May 2018 to July 2020 “systematically deceived and took advantage” of the victims.

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