Disbarred New York Attorney Indicted for Real Estate Investment Fraud Scheme and Money Laundering
NEWARK, NJ—A disbarred New York attorney was indicted for allegedly engaging in a real estate investment fraud conspiracy that defrauded more than 15 victims of $5 million from 2009 to the present, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.
Pasquale Stiso, a/k/a “Pat Stiso,” 54, of New Rochelle, New York, is charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, seven substantive counts of wire fraud, and three counts of money laundering. The indictment was returned Oct. 14, 2015, by a federal grand jury sitting in Newark. Co-defendant Paul Mancuso previously pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring with Stiso to commit wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From 2009 through the present, Mancuso held himself out as an investor, broker, and developer of various purported investments. Mancuso obtained from his victims substantial investments for various projects that, in fact, either did not exist at all or in which Mancuso had no actual involvement. Stiso held himself out as an individual who was working with Mancuso on various purported projects. Many of the victims of Stiso and Mancuso’s schemes lost all or substantially all of the money they invested with Mancuso and Stiso. Many lost all or most of their life savings in the various schemes to defraud.
Stiso and Mancuso falsely represented to some victims that they would purchase event tickets, such as tickets to sporting events and concerts, at a lower or wholesale rate, and then resell them to members of the public at an inflated rate, creating profits for their investors. In reality, Stiso and Mancuso did not buy tickets with their victims’ money.
In one of the real estate schemes, Stiso and Mancuso falsely represented to victims that they were investors in a real estate development project in Valley Cottage, New York, and that investor money would be used to purchase an interest in real property. The real property interest would then be resold at an increased price, creating profits for their investors. In reality, Stiso and Mancuso did not invest in any such real estate project with their victims’ money. Instead, they engaged in monetary transactions designed to funnel, and in many instances launder, the victims’ investments for their own benefit, including to pay illegal gambling debts. Stiso and Mancuso were heavily involved in illegal gambling pursuits and they both owed substantial sums of money to one of their bookmakers.
The charge of wire fraud conspiracy and the substantive counts of wire fraud each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss associated with the offense, whichever is greatest. Each money laundering count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss associated with the offense, whichever is greatest.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; and criminal investigators of the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Francisco J. Navarro and Anthony J. Mahajan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charge and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.