Federal authorities charged a disgraced Manalapan stock broker with wire and mail fraud alleging he defrauded 10 investors, some senior citizens, out of at least $1 million in an investment scheme.
Anthony Mastroianni Jr., 48, is also accused of getting a fraudulent loan for more than $96,000 from a COVID emergency relief fund for distressed businesses.
Mastroianni in 2016 consented to being permanently barred as a securities broker by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark said.
From 2017 up until this month, he bilked 10 investors−one 82 years old and another 67 years old−out of $1 million by convincing them he could generate large profits for them through his company, Global Business Development & Consulting Corp., according to the complaint in the case. Rather than investing the money, he used it for rent, car payments, credit card bills and cash withdrawals, authorities said.
Mastroianni also obtained a $96,200 loan from the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Insurance DisasterProgram, COVID loans meant to help distressed small businesses, according to the complaint.
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Mastroianni filed a fraudulent application for the loan, claiming to have $357,500 in gross receipts and an employee on the payroll, while he actually had no employees and less than half that amount in goods or services sold, according to the complaint.
He was charged Wednesday with a five-count complaint and was scheduled to appear in federal court in Newark later in the day.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on each count, although sentencing guidelines usually call for much less prison time, and a fine of as much as $250,000, or twice the gross loss or gain in the scheme.
Mastroianni is being represented by the Federal Public Defender's Office in Newark, which did not immediately return a call.
Ken Serrano covers crime, breaking news, local issues and investigations. Reach him at 732-643-4029 or email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Manalapan NJ man bilked investors; got fraudulent COVID loan: feds