Skip to main content
Press Release

Brooklyn Man and Cryptocurrency Personality "T.J. Stone" Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Admits Bilking Real Estate and Cryptocurrency Investors Out of Over $1.3 Million Using Business Named After Fictitious Seinfeld Company

Yesterday, in federal court in Brooklyn, Thomas John Sfraga, also known as “T.J. Stone,” pleaded guilty to an information charging him with wire fraud.  The proceeding was held before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom.  When sentenced, Sfraga faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, as well as restitution of over $1.33 million.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI) announced the guilty plea.

“For years, Sfraga brazenly lied to friends, neighbors and investors to swindle over $1.3 million of their hard-earned life savings,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “This Office will continue to hold fraudsters accountable and achieve justice for victims throughout the Eastern District of New York and across the United States.”

As set forth in the information and court filings, from at least 2019 to 2022, Sfraga held himself out as the owner and principal of multiple businesses, including Vandelay Contracting Corp. and Build Strong Homes LLC.  In the television show “Seinfeld,” the character George Constanza falsely claimed to have interviewed for a job with the fictional company Vandelay Industries.  The defendant held himself out as ‘T.J. Stone,’ a serial entrepreneur with experience in real estate development, media relations, podcasting and cryptocurrencies, including acting as the host or emcee of cryptocurrency events in New York.

Sfraga defrauded over a dozen victims, including victims in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Long Island.  Sfraga convinced victims to loan him monies for, or to invest in, multiple fraudulent investments including purchasing, renovating and “flipping” homes.  On one occasion, Sfraga convinced a victim to lend him $100,000 in cash as start-up costs for a non-existent major construction project.  On yet another occasion, Sfraga convinced a victim to invest in a fictitious cryptocurrency “virtual wallet.”  He promised the victims returns on their investments as high as 60% in three months.  In reality, however, Sfraga converted the monies to his own benefit, to pay expenses, and to pay earlier victims and business associates.   

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant United States Attorney John Vagelatos is in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Madison Bates. 

The Defendant:

THOMAS JOHN SFRAGA (also known as “T.J. Stone”)
Age:  55
, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 24-CR-194 (FB) (LB)


John Marzulli
Danielle Blustein Hass
U.S. Attorney's Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated May 17, 2024

Financial Fraud