U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut
(203) 821-3700
September 22, 2015

New York Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Operating Investor Fraud Scheme

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that CHARLES PRINCIPATO, 53, of Rye, N.Y., was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for engaging in a scheme to defraud investors of more than $1.3 million.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between approximately January 2011 and February 2014, PRINCIPATO acted as principal of Prince Direct, Inc., an entity that he represented to victim-investors as being in the business of marketing products through advertising such as “infomercials.” PRINCIPATO solicited money from victims, including Connecticut residents, for the stated purpose of funding the business operations of Prince Direct. However, instead of using victims’ money for the stated purposes, PRINCIPATO used it for his own personal expenses, including for vacations and home renovations, and for gambling. Through this scheme, PRINCIPATO defrauded victim-investors of more than $1.3 million.

Chief Judge Hall ordered PRINCIPATO to pay restitution in the amount of $1,809,235, which includes additional monies PRINCIPATO owed to investors.

On June 23, 2014, PRINCIPATO pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan L. Wines.

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