Biotechnology Executive Convicted Of Defrauding Investors And Making False Statements To Federal Law Enforcement
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the conviction in Manhattan federal court of PATRICK MURACA for wire fraud and making false statements. The jury found MURACA guilty on both counts of the Superseding Indictment following a trial before United States District Judge Ronnie Abrams.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated: “Patrick Muraca, who promised investors their money would be used to expand his businesses, instead used those funds for personal expenses, including rent, payments on two mortgages, and expenses related to his fiancée’s restaurant. Thanks to the investigative work of the FBI, Muraca has been convicted of his fraudulent scheme.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, the Superseding Indictment, and the evidence presented in Court during the trial:
In 2016, MURACA, the former President of Nuclea Biotechnologies, Inc., founded two new businesses: NanoMolecularDX LLC (“NMDX”) and MetaboRx LLC (“Metabo”). Between 2016 and July 2017, MURACA solicited and obtained more than approximately $1 million from investors by making false and misleading representations that the investors’ money would be used to expand the business of NMDX and Metabo. MURACA then misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars of investors’ funds and used the misappropriated money for personal expenses. For example, MURACA spent tens of thousands of dollars of investor funds on rent, utilities, and food distributor expenses related to the operation of a restaurant owned by his fiancée. In addition, MURACA wrote more than approximately $175,000 in checks to himself from the bank accounts associated with NMDX and Metabo. MURACA also used investor funds to make payments on his mortgage and the mortgage on a home belonging to his mother and for hundreds of dollars in purchases at a cigar store and a tattoo and piercing establishment, among other businesses.
MURACA was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) in July 2017. On November 17, 2017, MURACA met with a Special Agent with the FBI and an Assistant United States Attorney. In the course of the November 17, 2017 meeting, Muraca made a material false statement about his use of investor funds.
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MURACA, 49, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was found guilty of one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, and one count of making false statements to federal law enforcement, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys David Abramowicz, Katherine Reilly, and Christopher DiMase are in charge of the prosecution.