Home News Bill O’Reilly and Lawrence Taylor Endorsed a Real Estate Investment Firm the Feds Say Is a Ponzi Scheme

Bill O’Reilly and Lawrence Taylor Endorsed a Real Estate Investment Firm the Feds Say Is a Ponzi Scheme

by admin
0 comment

For years, National Realty Investment Advisors has promised its clients an easy way to get rich.And they had bold names like Bill O’reilly When Lawrence Taylor make their point.

After investing thousands of dollars, the New Jersey-based group, which focuses on luxury real estate in gentrification neighborhoods, claimed clients could earn at least a 12% return.The message was repeated in thousands of emails, giant billboards in the Lincoln and Holland Tunnel, and even radio advertisements Featuring former Fox News host and former NFL star.

But on Thursday, prosecutors alleged that the investment firm’s president and associates were actually participating in a brazen $650 million Ponzi scheme to defraud thousands of investors.

New Jersey Federal Attorney’s Office 18 indictments announcedIncluding securities and wire fraud charges against Thomas Nicholas Salzano and Ray E. Grabat II for their role in the scheme, which spanned nearly four years. The pair also allegedly tried to avoid $26 million in taxes.

Salzano was also charged with aggravated identity theft, tax evasion, and subscribing to false tax returns. Prosecutors said he was arrested Wednesday, but Grabato was on the run. Salzano’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Neither O’Reilly nor Taylor nor other high-profile supporters have been charged, and prosecutors have not indicated in any way whether they know of the company’s alleged fraud web. did not respond immediately.

A spokesman for National Realty Investment Advisors said in a statement to the Daily Beast after the article was published, “The action taken by the Department of Justice was made by a former National Realty Investment Advisors executive. It details abuse,” he said.

“The court-approved executives currently leading the company are engaged in a process of restructuring and developing a long-term financial plan for sustained, long-term success. We are strong and look forward to a bright future,” the spokesperson added.

Securities and Exchange Commission Paid on Thursdays NRIA and four former executives (including Salzano and Grabat) tricked 2,000 investors into promising to use their funds to purchase and develop properties. The group recruited investigators with promises of “up to 20 percent.”

“Among the investors were 382 retirees who contributed more than $94.8 million from their retirement accounts,” the SEC complaint states.

The SEC said that in reality, the group “pays distributions to other investors, to fund the personal and luxury purchases of executives’ families, and to make payments to reputation management firms to protect investors.” It said it used the funds “to prevent due diligence of its executives.” According to the federal indictment, the money was used for the purchase of a luxury car, a trip to the Jersey coast for at least a week, banquets and hotel rooms for a dozen friends and family, and at least $3,000 for Salzano’s wife. It is said that it was also used for payment. A week for no-show work.

“These defendants planned to craft a heavy-handed and deceptive marketing campaign to deceive investors into thinking their bogus real estate ventures were making substantial profits,” said U.S. Attorney Philip. Sellinger said. said in a press release announcing the indictment“In reality, their criminal tactics were straight out of a Ponzi scheme playbook so they could trick investors into their own pockets.”

The indictments against Salzano and Grabato mark the latest episode of the epic collapse of a seemingly successful real estate investment firm. A collection of skeptical opinions from multiple state news outletsArthur Scutaro, the company’s former chief of operations, who has also been indicted by the SEC, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud in an alleged Ponzi scheme. Scutaro’s attorney was not immediately reachable. Last year, Salzano was arrested by the FBI after hours of police confrontation, and the company filed for bankruptcy in June. Closed by New Jersey.

Prosecutors say the scheme began in February 2018 when NRIA set up an investment fund. SEC complaint note The fund owned properties in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Pennsylvania.

“As part of its investments, the Fund has provided investors with monthly distributions, typically between 6% and 10% of the original principal investment, through direct transfers to the investor’s bank account,” the indictment states. ”, he said. “Each investor in the Fund has also received from the NRIA a written guarantee of a minimum annual return of 12% per annum for five years and a full return on his investment, otherwise he will be paid by the NRIA. .”

To promote the fund, Scutaro and Salzano allegedly “used an aggressive multi-year national marketing campaign that included thousands of emails to investors.” Advertising on billboards, television and radio. Meetings and presentations to investors. Marketing thought the fund could be resolved, but the indictment states that in reality the NRIA was “operating as a Ponzi scheme that generated little to no profit and was surfaced by new fund investors.” increase.

Prosecutors further said that Mr. Salzano, who had acted as the NRIA’s “shadow chief executive,” was a “leadership” of the company and that “his managerial positions were kept under control to avoid scrutiny from investors and the IRS.” I hid the role of According to the indictment, one of the main reasons he wanted to avoid detection was his ugly history, including the 2006 Federal Trade Commission indictment.

These accusations allege he defrauded nonprofits, churches, and small businesses when he was chief executive of a New Jersey telecommunications company. Seven years later, Salzano pleaded guilty to theft through fraud in Louisiana, defrauding a small business in the state by “falsely promising consumers that they would save money on telecommunications services.” FTC case settled in 2006 The Louisiana complaint was later dismissed.)

To cover up Salzano’s past, prosecutors used Grabato, for whom he was president of NRIA, as the public face of the company and documented him in all bank accounts used by NRIA and documents issued to investors. Claims to have been signed. As the scheme expanded, prosecutors allege Salzano began orchestrating another conspiracy to defraud the IRS to cover up millions of dollars he owed the IRS. It allegedly involved lying to the government, using multiple bank accounts for bogus entities, and even falsifying company documents.

Ultimately, prosecutors say some duped investors began demanding documents about the alleged bulletproof investment scheme. In response to his one of these requests, Salzano allegedly sent his client a forged letter regarding an investment property in North Bergen, New Jersey. The letter ended up in the hands of the FBI—Leading to Salzano’s arrest in 2021.

But if the lead dog being bounced off could have been a hint that his colleague should have played better, prosecutors say Grabato didn’t get the memo. .

“Following Salzano’s arrest, Grabert continued to divert at least approximately $1.4 million from the fund’s investors to Salzano and other family members and friends of Salzano through the accounts of shell companies and designees,” the indictment states. there is

You may also like