2 Men From NJ, PA Admit Roles in $35 Million Ponzi Scheme
Two people, including a man from New Jersey, have admitted conspiring with a twice-convicted fraudster to defraud investors of more than $35 million.
Federal authorities say 47-year-old Christopher Anderson of Flemington and 36-year-old Richard Curry of Northumberland, PA, have each pleaded guilty in Trenton federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
Anderson and Curry admitted conspiring with others, including Eliyahu “Eli” Weinstein, whose 24-year federal prison sentence was commuted after being twice convicted of defrauding investors of a total of $230 million.
According to documents filed in this case,
- Weinstein, Aryeh “Ari” Bromberg, Joel Wittels, Shlomo Erez, and Alaa Hattab were previously charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice based on allegations arising from the same scheme in which Anderson and Curry pleaded guilty today. That complaint remains pending.
- Anderson and Curry admitted, among other things, to conspiring with each other, Weinstein, Bromberg, Wittels, Hattab, and Erez to make false and misleading statements and omissions to investors and potential investors.
- Weinstein was convicted two times in New Jersey federal court for defrauding investors.
- His first case involved a real estate Ponzi scheme and his second case stemmed from additional fraud Weinstein committed while on pretrial release. For these crimes, which resulted in combined losses to investors of approximately $230 million, Weinstein was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
- On Jan. 19, 2021, after Weinstein had served less than eight years in prison, the President of the United States at that time commuted Weinstein’s term to time served, leaving intact the rest of his sentence.
U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said in a statement,
These two defendants admitted scheming with Eli Weinstein and others to rip off investors to the tune of millions of dollars. They admitted that this scheme used phony identities and false promises of access to deals involving scarce medical supplies, baby formula, and first-aid kits supposedly destined for wartime Ukraine to defraud their victims. They will now face justice for their crimes, and we will continue to pursue the other alleged conspirators.
Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission for their assistance in this case.
The charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
Sentencing for Anderson is scheduled for January 16th and January 18th for Curry.