Northeastern Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty To $1.8 Million Investment Fraud
A former Bartonsville man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge stemming from an investment fraud, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Peter J. Smith announced Tuesday.
Joseph Gallardo, 48, Bartonsville, pleaded guilty to mail fraud before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo on Tuesday. According to documents filed with the Court, Gallardo was a registered investment advisor with investment firms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He persuaded clients with those investment firms to invest in Blue Meadow Group LLL, his personal real estate venture. Victims were guaranteed attractive rates of return and were falsely told that their money was invested in and protected by real estate. Contrary to what was represented to the victims, Blue Meadow Group was not a real estate investment trust and its securities were not registered with the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Securities Commissions.
In fact, victims’ monies were used to purchase a gas station and convenience store and to fund Gallardo’s on-line day trading account that lost a substantial amount of money.
During July 2009, the Pennsylvania Securities Commission issued a cease and desist order ordering Gallardo to stop offering or selling investment properties in Pennsylvania. After the cease and desist order, Gallardo solicited additional victims who invested money with him.
Investigators have determined that victims of Gallardo’s criminal activity lost approximately $1.8 million.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service. It is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy H. Fawcett.