Jersey City Man Admits Scamming Investors Of $3.4 Million
NEWARK, N.J. – A Jersey City man today admitted that he swindled two investors of $3.4 million by falsely representing that his businesses had secured lucrative contracts to sell olive oil to major retailers, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Antonio Fasolino, 62, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to all four counts of indictment charging him with three counts of wire fraud and one count of transacting in criminal proceeds. Judge Vazquez deferred acceptance of the guilty plea until sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2019.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Fasolino owned several companies that were purportedly involved in the manufacture, sale and distribution of pasta, tomato sauce, olive oil and other food products. In 2012, Fasolino obtained approximately $3.4 million from two victims by falsely representing that Fasolino’s companies had been awarded lucrative contracts to sell olive oil.
In fact, there were never any such contracts. Fasolino supplied the victims with altered bank statements and spent the money on himself, including car and mortgage payments, apartment rentals, a wedding, college tuition and credit card payments.
Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. The transacting in criminal proceeds count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison. Each charge in the indictment is also punishable by a potential $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie in Newark, and IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bryant Jackson, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.
The government is represented by Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Devlin of the Assert Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.
Defense counsel: Chester Keller Esq., Newark