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Glen Rock Resident Hit by Social Media “Cloning Scam”

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Glen Rock NJ, on Monday January 23rd at 2:55 PM a Glen Rock resident reported they learned of an investment opportunity from a purported professional colleague out of California, who they became acquainted with via social media. The resident made a series of investments totaling $25,100 via bitcoin and initially saw a high return on the investment. However, when the resident became suspicious and sought to withdraw funds from the account, the company, Crocker Wealth Management, stopped responding, and they have been unable to withdraw funds.

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Former Englewood Resident Admits Role in $1.5 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Englewood NJ, a former New Jersey resident today admitted participating in an investment scheme through which he fraudulently obtained $1.525 million from at least three families from 2017 through 2019, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

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Bergen Father and Son Plead Guilty to Defrauding Elderly Investors of Millions of Dollars

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Park Ridge NJ, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a father and son have pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of millions of dollars through two successive scams involving sales of bogus investments. After defrauding 26 investors in the first scam, the father and son agreed to pay $5.5 million, including $4 million in investor restitution, to settle a suit filed by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, but they then proceeded to defraud 15 of the same investors of $3 million in a second scam.

The following defendants pleaded guilty yesterday before Superior Court Judge Margaret M. Foti in Bergen County:

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Middletown Investment Manager and Former Fire Chief Convicted of Running Ponzi Scheme to Steal More Than $10 Million

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Middletown NJ,  An investment manager with an office in Middletown, New Jersey, has been convicted of running a Ponzi scheme, concealing losses, faking investment returns, and stealing more than $10 million in investor money, U.S Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Vicent P. Falci, 59, of Middletown, was convicted of all four counts of a superseding indictment: three counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud. He was convicted Dec. 13, 2018, following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court. The jury deliberated for 90 minutes before returning the verdict.

According to the superseding indictment and evidence at trial:

Falci controlled a number of investment funds under the names “Saber Funds” and “Vicor Tax Receivables LLP.” The Saber Funds were a collection of investment funds that Falci created and operated, starting in the early 2000s. Many of his earliest victims were friends, family, and associates. Falci served as a fire chief in Middletown, and some victims were policemen, fireman, and retirement funds for first responders. The Saber Funds grew to have more than 200 investors from whom the defendant raised more than $10 million.

Falci falsely told investors that the Saber Funds were conservatively invested in tax liens – which generated high returns with little risk. In reality, Falci diverted investor money to himself, his family, and to other companies he controlled. Some of the diverted funds were used for riskier ventures, such as day trading and real estate. Falci concealed losses and his own theft from investors. Based on these misrepresentations, investors continued to entrust additional funds to Falci and left previous investments under his control.

In early 2012, Falci started the Vicor Fund, targeting wealthier investors with greater sophistication in financial affairs. The investors in the Vicor Fund included financial industry professionals, and Falci ultimately raised $20 million from these victims. He again falsely represented that he had experience and a track record of success investing in tax liens, and promised that he could produce high rates of return with little risk. In reality, the assets of the Vicor Fund were rapidly depleted by Falci’s theft. 

In order to support his own lifestyle and repay investors the gains he had promised, Falci stole more than $10 million from the Vicor Fund between 2012 and 2016. At the same time, he reported fake investment gains to his investors on monthly statements. Falci concealed his theft in several ways, including by diverting funds to a fake company that he created to steal from investors. He also forged emails and reports, and created fake assets for the fund.

Each charge of wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of securities fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 21, 2018.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited inspectors of U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, with the investigation leading to today’s verdict. He also thanked the N.J. Bureau of Securities in the State Attorney General’s Office, under the direction of Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Bureau Chief Christopher Gerrold, for its assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Herring, Chief of the Cybercrimes Unit, and Paul A. Murphy, Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.