Former Bergen County, New Jersey, Man Admits Role In $5 Million Investment Fraud Scheme
NEWARK, N.J. - A former resident of Alpine, New Jersey, today admitted defrauding investors out of more than $5 million, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
James Trolice, 63, of Fairfield, Connecticut, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to a two-count information charging him with securities fraud and transacting in criminal proceeds.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Trolice was the president and owner of Trolice Consulting Services LLC and the president and chief marketing officer of eAgency, a California-based company that developed mobile security products. Trolice and Lee Vaccaro, 45, of Las Vegas, sold investors interests in Trolice Consulting Services and companies Vaccaro controlled and falsely represented to investors that those companies held warrants in eAgency. Warrants are derivative securities that give the holder the right to purchase common stock at a specific price within a certain time frame.
Trolice admitted that he made oral and written misrepresentations concerning the existence, number, validity, and term of eAgency warrants purportedly owned by the investment companies; the amount of money he had personally invested in and raised for eAgency; and his current position at eAgency.
Trolice also admitted that beginning in January 2011, the dollar amount of interests Trolice and Vaccaro sold in the investment companies began to surpass the dollar amount of valid warrants held by the investment companies. Neither Trolice nor Vaccaro disclosed to investors the risk that their investments would be diluted by the sale of additional interests in the companies. Altogether, Trolice and Vaccaro defrauded investors out of more than $5 million.
The securities fraud count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The transacting in criminal proceeds count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for July 20, 2017.
Vaccaro previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced Feb. 17, 2017 to 78 months in prison.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation. He also thanked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office, under the direction of Sanjay Wadhwa and the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, under the direction of Acting Chief Amy G. Kopleton, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Shapiro and Deputy Chief Zach Intrater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
If you believe you are a victim of or otherwise have information concerning this scheme, you are encouraged to contact the FBI at 973-792-3000.
Today’s plea is due to efforts by the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.
Defense counsel: K. Anthony Thomas Esq., Newark