Florida Resident Pleads Guilty To Advance Fee Scheme
BOSTON – A former Florida resident who defrauded victims across the country, including in Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Springfield to charges stemming from a $7 million investment fraud scheme.
John Condo, 62 of formerly of Clearwater, Fla., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Condo and his co-defendants induced developers seeking funding for their projects to submit supposedly fully refundable deposits in amounts of $300,000 to $1 million, which totaled more than $7 million over the course of the scheme. Funding for the projects was supposed to come from a $25 billion European fund made up of reclusive and wealthy European investors. The fund and everything associated with it, the websites, an offshore bank, the numerous corporations and world-wide offices, were all a mirage. No projects were funded and the deposits were spent by the defendants.
Condo is scheduled to be sentenced on June 10, 2014. He faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine or twice the net gain or loss from the fraud, and restitution, on each count of wire fraud.
Condo’s co-defendants, Evripides Georgiadis, Michael Zanetti and Frank Barecich are scheduled for trial on April 22, 2014.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Susan Hensley, Director of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Grant and Karen L. Goodwin of Ortiz’s Springfield Brank Unit.