A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man was charged today with defrauding victims in an investment fraud scheme out of at least $1 million, and with fraudulently obtaining a loan of approximately $96,000 meant to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Anthony Mastroianni Jr., 48, of Manalapan, New Jersey, charged in a five-count complaint with wire and mail fraud. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In 2016, Mastroianni consented to being permanently barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which prohibited him from acting as a broker or intermediary in securities transactions. Despite that debarment, from January 2017 to August 2022, Mastroianni defrauded victim investors, many of whom were senior citizens, by falsely and fraudulently claiming that he would generate large investment profits for them through his company, Global Business Development & Consulting Corp. Instead of investing the money as promised, Mastroianni used victim funds on personal expenses, including household rent, automobile payments, credit card bills, and cash withdrawals. Mastroianni defrauded 10 victims out of $1 million.
Mastroianni also exploited the ongoing global pandemic by submitting a false and fraudulent application to obtain $96,300 from a federal COVID-19 emergency relief loan meant for distressed small businesses. As with his investment fraud scheme, Mastroianni misused the loan proceeds to make personal purchases and cash withdrawals.
Each count of mail and wire fraud carries a maximum potential punishment of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross loss or gain caused by the offense.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Silane of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Emily Sherman Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark