TRENTON – Attorney General Anne Milgram announced that a Millstone Township man was sentenced to prison for stealing $690,000 from more than two dozen victims who invested millions of dollars in his fraudulent get-rich-quick scheme.
According to Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni, Michael D’Angelo, 48, of Millstone Township, was sentenced on Friday, Nov. 6, to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Francis P. DeStefano in Monmouth County. D’Angelo pleaded guilty on Jan. 26 to a charge of second-degree theft by deception filed by the Division of Criminal Justice Major Crimes Bureau.
On April 29, D’Angelo executed a consent order to settle a lawsuit filed by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, which investigated the securities fraud involving D’Angelo and his company, CMR Mngt. Group LLC. Under the consent order, D’Angelo must pay a total of $670,177 in restitution, penalties and disgorged funds.
“The Division of Criminal Justice has worked closely with the Bureau of Securities to ensure that this defendant is held accountable for his crime, not only by paying restitution but also by serving the prison sentence imposed today,” said Attorney General Milgram. “We are doing everything in our power to recover the funds he stole from investors.”
The Division of Criminal Justice has filed a civil forfeiture action against D’Angelo’s home, which is in the name of his wife, Diana. She pleaded guilty to third-degree theft by deception for her role in the fraudulent scheme and was admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention program.
Michael D’Angelo was charged in a March 7, 2008 state grand jury indictment obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice. The investigation by the Bureau of Securities, and a separate investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice, revealed that between January 2004 and January 2006, D’Angelo solicited approximately $3,260,000 from 26 investors, including at least 24 New Jersey residents.
D’Angelo offered investments in the CMR “Capital Enhancement Program,” promising a guaranteed rate of return of 5 percent interest per month and return of the investor’s principal after 12 months. Investors were told their money was absolutely safe because it was held in “non-depletion funds” or “non-accessible” bank accounts. Investors were given conflicting stories about how profits were generated, including foreign currency trading, unspecified activity in Switzerland, U.S. government money manipulation, and trading in large blocks of bank notes.
In reality, D’Angelo commingled investor funds, using funds from new investors to pay old investors in the typical fashion of a Ponzi scheme. He diverted large sums into his wife’s bank accounts to pay the couple’s personal expenses including, among other things, the mortgage payments for their lavish home and payments on high-end cars.
Approximately $2,570,000 was returned to investors, including payments totaling $1,946,100 that were made to some of the investors after D’Angelo became aware of the Bureau of Securities investigation. In return for the payments, the investors were required to sign fraudulent releases stating that D’Angelo had not engaged in fraud or sold the investors any securities.
Deputy Attorney General Patrick Flor prosecuted the case and handled today’s sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Major Crimes Bureau.
Investigator Richard Smullen, Investigator Isaac Reyes, Supervising Investigator Michael McElgunn, and Chief of Enforcement Richard Barry conducted the investigation for the Bureau of Securities. Detective Sgt. Noelle Holl conducted the separate investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice. Deputy Attorney General Victoria Manning and Deputy Attorney General Stacey M. Davey filed the lawsuit for the Bureau of Securities. Deputy Attorney General Michael McCormick is handling the civil forfeiture action for the Division of Criminal Justice.
Bureau of Securities Chief Marc B. Minor noted that anyone offering to sell securities in the state must be registered with the New Jersey Bureau of Securities. In many instances, the security itself must also be registered before it can be offered to investors. Investors should contact the Bureau of Securities before investing to determine whether the security and the person offering it are registered in New Jersey.
The Bureau of Securities can be contacted toll-free within New Jersey at 1-877-I-INVEST (1-877-446-8378) or from outside New Jersey at 973-504-3600. The Bureau’s web site is located at www.njsecurities.gov.