Scams in the News

Fraudster Sentenced After Defrauding Victims In Investment Fraud

James DeAngelis was sentenced last week to 57 months in prison for participation in a fraud investment scheme where he defrauded more than 15 victims out of $800,000. In May of 2011 DeAngelis pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud, ad conspiracy to structure financial transactions to evade reporting requirements.

According to the court documents between 2005 and 2009 DeAngelis formed and operated sham businesses in the names of “E&J Equity Group, Inc.,” and “Golden Silver Opportunities, LLC.” Using those sham businesses, DeAngelis solicited over $800,000 from victims by falsely representing that he would invest their money in gold, silver, and other precious metals. Instead of using this money for investment purposes, DeAngelis misappropriated it for his personal use and the use of others. For example, DeAngelis and a co-conspirator withdrew more than $350,000 of investors’ money and transferred $45,000 to his personal account at a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and incurred debit card charges of more than $140,000 on personal expenditures.

DeAngelis also structured the cash withdrawal of the fraudulent proceeds in order to evade federal reporting requirements. Specifically, DeAngelis and a co-conspirator made cash withdrawals totaling more than $350,000 in amounts that approached, but did not exceed, $10,000 in order to avoid the filing of Currency Transaction Reports with the United States Treasury Department.

DeAngelis had previously been convicted in 1995 of conspiracy to commit mail fraud for a similar but separate scheme in which he fraudulently induced individuals to send him money for the purchase of coins, gold, silver, and other precious metals. In connection with the scheme to which he pled guilty in May, DeAngelis solicited money from a victim of his prior scheme by falsely promising that victim that he could obtain the purported profits from his earlier investments by sending more money.

In addition to the prison term, Judge McMahon sentenced DeAngelis to three years of supervised release. DeAngelis was also ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $861,729, $861,729 in restitution, and a $300 special assessment fee.

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Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “James DeAngelis is a recidivist offender who twice used virtually identical schemes to defraud investors. But he was too clever by half and was once again apprehended and prosecuted for his crimes. With today’s sentence he will now be punished” – Source.


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Amanda Miller

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