Public Notices and Press Releases

NJ Man Sentenced for Major Investment Fraud and CARES Act Loan Misuse

Former Broker-Dealer Receives 45-Month Prison Term for Defrauding Investors and Misappropriating Pandemic Relief Funds.

In Trenton federal court, Anthony Mastroianni Jr., a 49-year-old resident of Manalapan, New Jersey, has been sentenced to 45 months in prison following his guilty plea to charges of wire fraud, as announced by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger. Mastroianni's criminal activities resulted in over $1.2 million being fraudulently taken from 14 victims, alongside the illicit acquisition of a $96,000 loan intended to aid small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mastroianni's admission of guilt came before U.S. District Judge Robert Kirsch on September 13, 2023, where he faced charges stemming from his unauthorized investment activities after being permanently barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2016. This prohibition did not deter Mastroianni; from January 2017 to August 2022, he deceived investors—many of whom were senior citizens—by promising substantial returns through his company, Global Business Development & Consulting Corporation. Contrary to his promises, the funds were diverted for his personal use.

The deceit extended into the pandemic's height, with Mastroianni submitting a fraudulent application to secure approximately $96,300 from a federal COVID-19 emergency relief loan designed for struggling small businesses. Similar to his investment scheme, these funds were not used as intended but were instead spent on personal expenses and cash withdrawals.

Following his prison term, Mastroianni will undergo three years of supervised release and is mandated to pay restitution amounting to $1.3 million. This sentence underscores the concerted efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with special recognition to the investigative team led by Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney in Newark, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Silane of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark, who represented the government.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger emphasized the serious consequences of exploiting investors and misusing federal aid, highlighting the judiciary's commitment to protecting the public and penalizing fraudulent activities. This case serves as a stark reminder of the legal and moral obligations of financial stewardship, especially during times of widespread hardship.

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