A Jersey City man pleaded guilty to scamming investors out of $3.4 million by falsely representing that his businesses had secured lucrative contracts to sell olive oil to major retailers, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Antonio Fasolino, 62, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to all four counts of indictment charging him with three counts of wire fraud and one count of transacting in criminal proceeds, Carpenito said in a statement.
Vazquez deferred the acceptance of the guilty plea until sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2019.
According to court documents, Fasolino owned several companies that were purportedly involved in the manufacture, sale and distribution of pasta, tomato sauce, olive oil and other food products.
In 2012, Fasolino obtained approximately $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. Fasolino supplied the victims with altered bank statements and spent the money on himself, including car and mortgage payments, apartment rentals, a wedding, college tuition and credit card payments, officials said.
Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison.
The transacting in criminal proceeds count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison.
Additionally, each charge in the indictment is also punishable by a potential $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.