Berlin Man Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison for Running Investment Fraud Scheme, Tax Evasion
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that FRANK METE, 57, of Berlin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 41 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from approximately 2009 to November 2012, METE operated an investment fraud scheme in which he held himself out as a broker of hard money loans between investors and purported individual borrowers who were willing to borrow money at interest rates of 15 to 18 percent. In fact, there were no such borrowers. In order to induce the investors to extend loans to the purported borrowers through him as the broker, METE created false promissory notes, mortgage documents and other false records using the names of the fictitious borrowers. After receiving from the victim investors checks that were made out to the purported borrowers, he forged the signatures on the checks and deposited the funds into several bank accounts he opened in the borrowers’ names.
Through this scheme, METE defrauded investors of approximately $1,191,610.50. He used the funds to pay for various personal expenses.
METE also failed to file federal income tax returns from 2009 to 2012, causing a tax loss to the government of approximately $357,324.
METE was ordered to make full restitution to his victim investors. He also was ordered to pay $666,851.84 in back taxes, penalties and interest to the Internal Revenue Service.
On December 4, 2013, METE pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion.
METE has been detained in state custody on unrelated charges since November 8, 2013.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. McGarry.