A Bergen County, New Jersey, man was sentenced Wednesday to 51 months in prison for conspiring to defraud 15 victims of more than $3 million.
Paul Mancuso, 50, of Flen Rock, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Judge Martini imposed the sentenced Wednesday in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Aug. 21, 2014, a federal grand jury in Newark indicted Mancuso on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five count of wire fraud. It also charged Pasquale Stiso, 55, of West Harrizon, New york, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.
Since 2009, Mancuso posed as a real estate investor, broken and developer, as well as a “hard money” lender other investments. Stiso, a disbarred New York attorney, eld himself out as an individual working with Mancuso on various investment projects.
Mancuso admitted that he and Stiso fraudulently obtained financing for projects that did not exist or in which they had no actual involvement. Some of the purported projects touted by Mancuso, Stiso, and, other conspirators included investments in a phony ticket scam, the development of a pizzeria at a resort in the Bahamas, the development of a casino in Atlantic City, the development of a commercial shopping center, and the “flipping” of a piece of real estate in Matawan.
Victims lost all of their investments in Mancuso’s schemes. instead of funding the purported projects, Mancuso and Stiso used the money for personal expenses and to finance their involvement in illegal gambling.
In addition to the prison term, Judge martini sentenced Mancuso to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $3,266,250.
Stiso was tried and convicted of all 10 counts of a superseding indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six substantive counts of wire fraud, and free counts of money laundering following a seven-day trial before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini. He was sentenced in June 2016 to 43 months in prison.