Former Long Island Liquor Distributor Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Defrauding Investors in Wine Product Featured on “Shark Tank” TV Show
Defendant Stole More Than $500,000 from Investors to Fund His Securities Trading Account and Satisfy Mortgage on a Florida Home
Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Joseph Falcone, who formerly operated a wine and liquor distribution business known as 3G’S VINO LLC, was sentenced by United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein to 24 months’ imprisonment for wire fraud in connection with his scheme to defraud investors. As part of the sentence, Falcone was ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution to seven of 3G’S investors. Falcone pleaded guilty in June 2019.
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the sentencing.
“Falcone’s victims were reeled in by his “Shark Tank” pitch, but with today’s sentence, the defendant is now squarely on the hook for his crimes,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme. “This Office remains committed to prosecuting those who mislead the public and abuse the trust placed in them to engage in fraud against their own investors.” Mr. DuCharme thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, for its outstanding investigative work on the case.
In December 2012, Falcone established 3G’S, which was based in Bethpage and Farmingdale, New York. Among other products, 3G’S distributed a single-serving wine in a sealed glass, which was featured on the television program “Shark Tank.” Between September 2014 and November 2015, Falcone solicited investments and promised potential investors that their money would be used to fund 3G’S by purchasing the single-serving wine product. Relying on those promises, investors wired money to bank accounts in Florida controlled by Falcone. Rather than invest the money as promised, Falcone used approximately $527,064 for his personal benefit – paying off the mortgage on a residence in Florida and funding his online securities trading.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Bradley T. King and Madeline M. O’Connor are in charge of the prosecution.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-257 (SJF)