Boston – A Florida man was sentenced today for his role in perpetrating an investment fraud scheme.
Michael Zanetti, 36, of Pompano Beach, Fla. was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In March 2014, Zanetti pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 14 counts of wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Between 2007 and 2011, Zanetti participated in a conspiracy to defraud developers who were seeking financing for large-scale alternative energy and commercial projects by pretending to be a representative of a multi-billion dollar fund located in Luxembourg. Zanetti and his co-conspirators convinced developers to give deposits between $300,000 and $1 million to the fake fund with the promise that the deposit would be fully refundable. Zanetti and his co-conspirators spent the developers' deposit money, and the fake fund never financed any projects. In perpetrating this scheme, Zanetti continually reassured developers about the safety of their deposits even as the deposits were being spent.
Zanetti’s co-defendants, John Condo, Evripides Georgiadis, and Frank Barecich have all been convicted and are awaiting sentencing.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Susan Hensley, Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration; and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Alex J. Grant and Karen L. Goodwin of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Unit.