The owner of Fasolino’s has been arrested on a wire fraud charge, allegedly engaging in $3.4 million investment fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Antonio Fasolino, 59, of Jersey City, was arrested by FBI agents and charged with wire fraud. He appeared before U.S. District Judge Mark Falk in Newark this afternoon, officials said.
According to the criminal complaint, Fasolino owned several companies (mostly Fasolino Enterprises and Fasolino Foods) that were purportedly involved in the manufacture, sale and distribution of pasta, tomato sauce, olive oil and other food products.
In 2012, Fasolino allegedly engaged in an investment fraud scheme in which he obtained more than $3.4 million from two victims by falsely representing that Fasolino’s companies had been awarded lucrative contracts to sell olive oil, authorities said.
In reality, there were never any such contracts and Fasolino spent the money on personal expenses such as car and mortgage payments, apartment rentals, a wedding, college tuition and credit card payments, officials said.
The wire fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss caused by the scheme.
Fasolino is represented by Roseland attorney Alan Silber, of counsel at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, who could not immediately be reached for comment.
FBI agents were seen walking into Fasolino’s deli, formerly Umberto’s Delicatessen & Pizzeria, on John F. Kennedy Boulevard and collecting documents in Bayonne this morning.
According to neighbors who asked not to be identified, about 10 FBI agents arrived around 7:30 a.m. in several black trucks before heading inside the establishment.
Hudson County View’s Sibrena Geraldino Stowe was on the scene, noting that agents were in and out of the building wearing white gloves throughout the morning. By 11:00 a.m., at least a few agents had left the scene.
The FBI added that Fasolino was not arrested at the John F. Kennedy Boulevard location today.