The principal of Ft. Lauderdale-based Wheat Capital Management, Daniel Joseph Touizer, was arrested this week for allegedly bilking 150 investors out of $19 million.
The company is developing a trio of self-storage facilities in Margate, Pembroke Pines and Miami, that are scheduled for completion in 2018. The company had plans to build 10 to 12 facilities a year.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Touizer’s offices were searched by the FBI in mid-August. Touizer is charged with making false and fraudulent claims to investors between January 2005 through December 2017.
He is said to have promised guaranteed returns to investors and that he did not draw a salary among other claims. Prosecutors say $7 million worth of misappropriated funds have not been located, while Touizer’s lawyers deny that he has hidden any assets.
An affidavit claims that “the large majority of investor funds raised by Touizer were misappropriated by him for his co-conspirators’ personal use.”
A former executive tells the SpareFoot Storage Beat he knew something wasn’t right shortly after starting work at the firm.
“I was getting suspicious of the guy,” said Gary Delaney, who very briefly served as president and CEO of Wheat Capital. “He was chronically late paying bills.”
Delaney left the company Friday, June 2, after joining in April. Delaney said Touizer terminated him after he asked too many questions about the finances. As president and CEO, Delaney was responsible for sourcing self-storage development sites and design and construction management of those sites.
“I was not involved with the fundraising at all,” Delaney said, adding that he learned of the arrest reading the news this morning.
Delaney said he was recruited earlier this year by Touizer to spearhead the development of self-storage facilities for Wheat Capital Management.
“He was looking to expand and ramp things up,” Delaney said.
Delaney had recently left Banner Development Group after successfully developing a several facilities for that company, prior to that Delaney has extensive storage industry experience including Safeguard Properties and Shurgard.
Delaney said the self-storage project in Pembroke Pines is currently under construction. The facility in Margate recently obtained building permits, and the Miami project is still in the permitting phase.