– Attorney General Anne Milgram announced
today that investigators from the New Jersey
Bureau of Securities (NJBOS) seized records
and computers from a Fanwood-based investment
company charged with defrauding investors
and being operated by an unregistered individual.
estimated 80 investors lost about $15 million
they invested with Anthony Lucchetto Jr.,
owner of Serafino Holdings, L.L.C. Rather
than investing monies in Commercial Bridge
Loans for construction projects, Lucchetto
and Serafino Holdings are accused of putting
most of investors’ monies into a fund
that turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.
NJBOS, which filed suit against Lucchetto
and Serafino Holdings on Wednesday for violating
the state’s Securities Law, requested
and obtained court approval to freeze Lucchetto’s
and the company’s assets and to seize
records and computers.
defendants won their victims’ trust
by offering attractive-sounding investment
returns that were never going to materialize,
then essentially stole their hard-earned money,”
Attorney General Milgram. “This
is unconscionable conduct, particularly during
difficult economic times, and we are committed
to holding them accountable for it.”
state is seeking restitution for consumers
and will determine what assets the defendants
have following review of the seized records.
The state also is seeking to permanently bar
Lucchetto from working in the securities industry
in New Jersey and the assessment of civil
state’s seven-count complaint, filed
in State Superior Court in Union County, alleges
that Lucchetto and Serafino Holding violated
the state’s Securities Law by:
Employing a device, scheme or artifice to
Making materially false or misleading statements
and/or omitting material facts;
Engaging in fraud or deceit in the offer,
sale or purchase of securities;
Acting as an agent without being registered;
Employing unregistered agents; and
Selling unregistered securities.
every person selling securities in the state,
and every security itself, must be registered
with the New Jersey Bureau of Securities,”
Amy Kopleton, NJBOS Acting Chief. “Before
investing, investors should contact the Bureau
and check whether the individuals and the
securities are properly registered."
previously had been registered with the NJBOS
as an agent and investment advisor but was
not registered at the time of these alleged
activities. He allegedly told investors that
their invested funds were 99% secured by asset
liens and they would receive 6.5% quarterly
rates of return on their investments.
investigators so far have identified one couple
and three individuals who collectively invested
nearly $700,000 with the defendants. One of
these investors has told investigators that
Lucchetto said about 80 people had invested
a total of $15 million with him.
an email to his investors sent this January,
Lucchetto wrote that he allegedly transferred
the invested funds to Agape World, which turned
out to be a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is
a fraudulent operation that pays returns to
investors from their own money or money paid
by subsequent investors rather than from generated
G. Bassman, Acting Chief of Enforcement for
the NJBOS, conducted the investigation of
this case. The state is represented by Deputy
Attorney General Victoria A. Manning.
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.