Morris County, N.J., Man Admits Defrauding Investers Of $500,000 Through Phony Investment Scheme
NEWARK, N.J. – A Morris County, N.J., man today admitted he fraudulently obtained $500,000 by promising investors favorable returns and that funds would be used to finance educational television programming for teenage audiences, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.
Peter Lareau, 77, of Mountain Lakes, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From June 2008 through January 2010, Lareau created numerous entities, including T4Teens LLC and Concordia Mediaworks LLC, for the purpose of soliciting investors. Lareau recruited investors through civic, religious and charitable organizations, as well as through alumni events at prestigious education institutions.
In addition to promising greater-than-market returns, Lareau falsely represented that investors’ funds would be used for educational television programming for teenage audiences.
He sent investors prospectuses and other information related to investment opportunities by email and then directed them to wire funds from brokerage accounts in New York to his business accounts in New Jersey.
Instead of using the funds for educational programming or other business-related purposes, Lareau used those funds for personal expenses, including groceries, tuition payments for his child, rent payments, and club memberships.
The wire fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 14, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s plea.
The government is represented by U.S. Attorney Lorraine S. Gerson of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: K. Anthony Thomas Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark