PHILADELPHIA – A second superseding indictment was filed today charging William Bucci, 57, of Philadelphia, PA, with running an investment fraud scheme that duped victims into turning over more than $3.2 million, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. According to the indictment, Bucci told his victims he was starting a wine and high end olive oil import business. Among his one dozen victims was a Catholic Priest. The indictment charges securities fraud, four counts of mail fraud, one count of mortgage fraud, and an additional count of making and subscribing false federal income tax returns. A previous indictment charged Bucci with four counts of making and subscribing false federal income tax returns for underreporting his income for the tax years 2007 through 2010.
According to the indictment, beginning as early as 2004, Bucci represented to his brokerage clients-victims that he was starting a business to import high end olive oil and wine from Italy. But Bucci, who was a licensed stockbroker and a non-lawyer elector on the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline, never had an olive oil and wine business. He allegedly promised the clients a rate of return of at least 10% on their investment. He also falsely guaranteed to the investors that he would repay principal and interest. Bucci also allegedly solicited other individuals to loan him money for the purchase of real estate. According to the indictment, Bucci used funds from these individuals to support his lifestyle and to make payments to earlier victims. In total, the indictment alleges that victims entrusted in excess of $3.2 million to Bucci between November 2003 and December 2011.
The indictment further alleges that Bucci filed false federal income tax returns, underreporting his income, for the tax years 2007 through 2011. It is further alleged that, in 2012, Bucci provided false documents to Beneficial Mutual Savings Bank in connection with a mortgage that Beneficial held on a property that Bucci owned in Brigantine, New Jersey.
If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 145 years in prison, restitution, a fine of up to $8.25 million, and up to five years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Ignall.
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An Indictment, Information or Criminal Complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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