Apopka Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison in $3 Million Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 31, 2014|
ORLANDO—Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell sentenced Salvatore Ciccarello, Jr. (31, Apopka) to seven years in federal prison for wire fraud. Ciccarello was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay more than $3 million in restitution to his victims.
On October 10, 2013, Ciccarello was convicted by a federal jury of 15 counts of wire fraud.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Ciccarello’s companies (Workalition Inc. and Workalition of America LLC) entered into a “factoring” arrangement with AGR Advisors Inc. Factoring is a financial transaction by which a business sells its invoices to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. The factor provides financing to the seller of the invoice in the form of a cash advance, often 70 percent to 85 percent of the amount of the invoice. Once an invoice has been factored, the business will arrange to have the client pay the factor directly.
From May 2011 until December 2011, Ciccarello submitted a series of factoring invoices falsely representing that Ciccarello’s companies were owed millions of dollars for providing temporary and permanent staffing for several businesses. In fact, Ciccarello’s companies were not owed that money, and many of the employees identified on the invoices were fictitious. To deceive AGR into funding the invoices, Ciccarello forged documents and directed his employees to keep a second set of books, to forge documents, and to prepare invoices that included the fictitious employees. As a result of his scheme, Ciccarello defrauded AGR of more than $3 million.
Further, in August 2012, Ciccarello signed an agreement with TS Staffing, by which that company agreed to fund four Workalition payrolls. After those payrolls were funded, Ciccarello was supposed to begin paying back some of what he owed. Instead, he sent e-mails whereby he represented that he had deposited checks into TS Staffing’s account. In response, TS Staffing released more money, only to learn later that Ciccarello had actually put a stop payment on the checks. Ciccarello was able to defraud TS Staffing out of $106,000 through this scheme.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.