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Press Release

Former New Jersey Resident Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For Role In Real Estate Scam That Defrauded Family Friends

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

Judge Also Orders Defendant to Pay $4.7 Million in Restitution

TRENTON, N.J. – An Oklahoma woman who formerly lived in Ridgewood, N.J., was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for a scheme to defraud two New Jersey families relating to the purchase, financing, and improvement of real estate in Oklahoma, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Taya Romano, (a/k/a “Taya Waldon”), 36, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an Information charging her with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this and a related case and statements made in court:

In 2008 and 2009, Taya Romano conspired with her then-husband to solicit and obtain money from two sets of family friends in New Jersey for investments in what Romano represented to be purchases of apartment complexes and undeveloped land in Oklahoma. Romano solicited a series of investments from each of the two sets of family friends, obtaining a total of $1,032,750 from one couple and $890,000 from the other couple. Romano and her husband did not use these funds for the purposes for which they had represented.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Romano to three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay $4.7 million in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bohdan Vitvitsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Economic Crimes Unit.


Defense counsel: Brian J. Neary Esq., Hackensack, N.J.

Updated March 18, 2015