Former Loan Broker Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Small Businesses
BOSTON – A Saugus loan broker pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to operating a scheme that defrauded small businesses from across the country in connection with their efforts to obtain business loans.
Joseph L. Angelo Jr, 59, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of wire fraud. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Nov.29, 2017.
From November 2011 to March 2015, Angelo defrauded 10 small business owners of more than $1 million by representing that his companies – Lease One Corp. and Palmtree Finance & Funding LLC – were brokers for obtaining loans for small businesses. Angelo required the customers to deliver to him what he said were fully refundable deposits, aggregating over $1.1 million, for loans that he said had been approved and would be funded within a few days. In fact, none of the loans had been approved and there were no funds available. When the small business owners complained about delays in receiving funds, Angelo promised that their deposits would be refunded, but he did not refund any of the deposits or secure funding for any of the requested loans.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor A. Wild of Weinreb’s Economic Crimes Unit.