Examples of Ponzi Scheme Investment
Frauds Exposed in 2006
FBI Lets Scammer Run Rampant in Secret Crime
03/06 - (NJ) An accountant admitted helping a convicted con man
from Saddle River hide millions of dollars in investor money by falsely
recording business expenses.
Richard Antoniotti, 52, of Hasbrouck Heights told a federal judge
in Newark that he knew that the chief financial officer at Wellesley
Services LLC routinely directed a co-conspirator to sign checks for
funds that would end up in the hands of Thomas Giacomaro.
Giacomaro, 51, was sentenced in February 2004 to 14 years in prison
for bilking $80 million out of 200 investors, including best-selling
author Mary Higgins Clark and senior citizens living on fixed incomes.
In pleading guilty to conspiracy, Antoniotti said Monday that CFO
Anthony Bianco directed him to record the payments on Wellesley's
books as legitimate business expenses -- even though he knew that
the checks would be cashed and given to Giacomaro as spending money.
Antoniotti also admitted that alleged co-conspirator Peter Dobbins
signed checks and authorized wire transfers to pay the personal credit
card bills of Giacomaro and his wife, and to buy expensive homes
and fund costly real estate improvements for Giacomaro, Bianco and
other alleged members of the scheme.
Authorities said Giacomaro was secretly helping the FBI investigate
organized crime when he headed the multimillion-dollar pyramid scheme,
creating businesses that offered exorbitant returns but instead funneled
the money to the conspirators.
At the center of the scheme was Wellesley Services, which billed
itself as a specialist in purchasing small firms in the transportation,
trash, courier and fuel oil industries.
Antoniotti pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud
the United States and faces a maximum of five years in prison and
a $250,000 fine.
See also What is a Ponzi Scheme, Charles Ponzi, Ponzi Scheme, What is Ponzi Scheme