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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Former Hamburg Resident Sentenced For Wire Fraud And Tax Evasion In Connection With Investment Fraud Scheme

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Christopher F. Venti, 49, of Ocala, Florida, formerly of Hamburg, NY, who was convicted of wire fraud and tax evasion, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford to 46 months in prison. Venti was also ordered to pay approximately $1,700,000 in restitution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse, who handled the case, stated that the defendant devised and executed schemes to obtain money from individuals by misrepresenting the existence and success of investment opportunities in order to convince those victims to transfer funds to him or to bank accounts he controlled. Venti engaged in three separate investment schemes between May 2011 and February 2014 as a result of which investors were defrauded of approximately $7,700,000. The defendant, without the authorization of the investors, utilized a portion of those investor funds for personal use.

Between 2006 and 2012, Venti also filed individual income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service on which he willfully evaded the payment of approximately $216,000 in taxes due and owing.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office.

Updated January 31, 2018