Attorney Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for His Role in Investment and Real Estate Frauds
TRENTON, NJ—An Ocean County, New Jersey, attorney was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for his role in a scheme that defrauded investors in connection with a Facebook IPO and several real estate deals, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Fred Todd, 61, of Lakewood, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of transacting in criminal proceeds.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Todd is an attorney with offices in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, and Los Angeles, California. His two co-defendants, Eliyahu Weinstein, 39, of Lakewood, and Aaron Glucksman, 41, of Brooklyn, New York, have already pleaded guilty to charges related to their roles in the scheme.
Weinstein, already convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison in a separate Ponzi scheme, pleaded guilty on Sept. 3, 2014, to three counts of an indictment pending against him: one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of committing wire fraud while on pretrial release, and one count of money laundering. He was sentenced on Dec. 15, 2014, on those charges to an additional two years in prison.
Glucksman has also pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Judge Pisano on May 5, 2014, to 52 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered him to forfeit $1.2 million. Judge Pisano ordered Glucksman’s sentence to run partially concurrently with a 36-month sentence recently imposed by U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the Eastern District of New York in an unrelated case.
In February 2012, Todd and his conspirators offered a pair of investors (referred to in the information as the “Facebook victims”) the opportunity to purchase large blocks of Facebook shares prior to the company’s initial public offering, or IPO, in May 2012. The offer was particularly attractive because large blocks of the shares were extremely difficult to get and were expected to increase in value at the time of the IPO. Weinstein and his conspirators did not actually have access to the shares.
Based on misrepresentations by the conspirators, the Facebook victims wired millions of dollars between February and March of 2012 to an account Weinstein and a conspirator controlled. Weinstein and another conspirator provided investors with false documents showing companies owned by various conspirators held assets, which would secure the Facebook victims’ investment.
The conspirators did not use any of the Facebook victims’ money to purchase Facebook shares, instead misappropriating it for their own use.
Around the same time, Todd and his conspirators also persuaded victims to invest in the purported purchase of an apartment complex in Florida. They told the victims that Weinstein had the opportunity to purchase the notes on the condominiums at a discounted price and immediately flip it at a substantial profit. The victims wired money to complete the purchase, but Todd and his conspirators instead used the money for their own purposes. In addition to the prison term, Judge Pisano sentenced Todd to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $6.53 million.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, for their role in the investigation.
The government is represented by Counsel to the U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig; Gurbir S. Grewal, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater of the Economic Crimes Unit.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud.