Operator of Sports Merchandise Company Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Running Fraud Scheme
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Allegheny County, Pa., has been sentenced in federal court to serve 37 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $601,470.31, on his conviction of mail fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill imposed the sentence on Andrew A. Demasi, 63, of Natrona Heights, Pa.
According to information presented to the court, Demasi and his partner, Ronald Halpern, operated a business known as A & R Services, Inc., from an apartment at Washington Place, Pittsburgh, Pa. On behalf of A & R Services, Demasi and Halpern negotiated the purchase, sale, and delivery of sports-related merchandise and novelty items. During the period April 2007 through September 2007, Demasi and Halpern devised and executed a scheme to defraud manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and interstate shipping companies of money and property, valued at more than $600,000. The fraud scheme included obtaining merchandise for resale by applying for extensions of credit from the various manufacturers, wholesalers, and shipping companies based on false, financial information provided by Demasi.
On Aug. 3, 2007, Demasi and Halpern, in executing the scheme, obtained merchandise, delivered by interstate carrier FedEx, from Pro Specialities Group, Inc., in San Diego, California, based upon credit extended upon materially false financial information about the financial health and history of A & R Services, Inc. Demasi and Halpern had no intention of paying for the merchandise or its shipment after receipt.
Ronald Halpern entered a guilty plea before Judge Arthur Schwab and was sentenced in May 2013 to serve a 24-month term of imprisonment.
Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the United States Trustee for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Demasi.