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Justice News

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

Friday, September 4, 2015

Virginia Man Indicted On Fraud Charge

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Michael Martin, 56, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse, who is handling the case, stated that in March 2013, Martin conspired with others, including Christopher Venti, to defraud an investor. According to the indictment, Martin and Venti told the investor that in exchange for a payment of $100,000, they would arrange for a "blocked" bank account to be set up in the victim's name which would pay the victim $1,000,000 after 30 says.

The alleged investment was part of the scheme that involved Martin and other conspirators taking money from victims knowing in fact that there was no account that would pay out $1,000,000.

Christopher Venti has been convicted and for his involvement in investment fraud scheme and is awaiting sentencing.

The  indictment  is  the  result  of  an  investigation  by  the  Federal  Bureau  of Investigation.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The conviction is the culmination of an investigation conducted by the Arson Task Force, which is comprised of Investigators of the Rochester Fire Department, Rochester Police Department, and Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 2, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Geraci.

Updated September 8, 2015