– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
announced that a con man who eluded authorities
for 13 years before his arrest last June
in Las Vegas was sentenced to state prison
today for conspiring with a business partner
to defraud investors in New Jersey of more
than $1 million in the early 1990s.
to Director Taylor, Douglas D’Arpino,
64, formerly of New York, N.Y., was sentenced
to three years in state prison by Superior
Court Judge Eugene H. Austin in Bergen County.
He pleaded guilty on Jan. 3 to a second-degree
charge of conspiracy. Under the plea agreement,
D’Arpino must pay restitution of approximately
$510,000, representing his share of the
funds stolen by him and his partner, R.
Steven Stackpole. Stackpole, 72, was sentenced
to six years in state prison in 1998 in
connection with the scheme.
Attorney General Francine S. Ehrenberg took
the guilty plea and handled today’s
sentencing hearing for the Division of Criminal
Justice Major Crimes Bureau. D’Arpino
and Stackpole were indicted in 1997 as a
result of an investigation by the Division
of Criminal Justice. The investigation was
led by Lt. John Jespersen and former Supervising
Deputy Attorney General Rodger Wolf.
formerly operated an investment and insurance
company called Stackpole Designs Agency
in River Edge, Bergen County. The state
investigation revealed that between 1989
and 1994, Stackpole conspired with D’Arpino
to get clients of his company who had retirement
and investment accounts to invest a total
of approximately $1.9 million in various
fraudulent schemes. One scheme involved
“wishing wells” that the defendants
claimed would be placed in malls to collect
money for a charity that published information
about missing children. A number of wishing
wells were placed in businesses, but no
money was provided to the charity.
and Stackpole promised a 15 percent rate
of return to investors. In reality, they
charged investors undisclosed fees of up
to 20 percent and diverted investors funds
for their personal use. Of the $1.9 million
in invested funds, approximately $500,000
was returned to investors as “dividends.”
The remaining $1.4 million was stolen. Some
investors lost their life savings. The investors
included several firefighter associations.
D’Arpino, who had been using the alias
Paul D. Martin, surrendered to authorities
in Las Vegas on June 10, 2010.