State Obtains Restitution Judgments for Investors in Excess of
$69 Million in Securities Fraud Scheme
NEWARK - The former founder of Wellesley Services LLC, currently serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison, has been ordered to pay $69,291,511 in restitution for defrauding investors, under the terms of a consent order announced today by Attorney General Zulima V. Farber. Thomas Giacomaro also is permanently barred from holding any type of securities license in New Jersey.
A judgment also was entered by a Bergen County judge against Giacomaro’s co-defendants, Anthony Bianco and Keith Moody. Judge Robert P. Contillo found that Bianco and Moody engaged in a scheme to defraud Wellesley Services investors and ordered them to pay $73,767,700 in restitution along with a civil monetary penalty.
The settlement with Giacomaro and judgment against Bianco and Moody resolve a 2003 lawsuit filed by the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Securities alleging that since 1995, Giacomaro, Bianco, Moody and others defrauded hundreds of investors by luring them into purchasing $80 million of promissory notes with promises of high returns on their investments.
“These con artists ripped off honest investors. They took the hard-earned dollars of investors and stole the money entrusted to them so they could live the good life. But now, the day of reckoning has come,” Attorney General Farber said. “Through the diligent work of the State Bureau of Securities, this scam has been unraveled.”
The Bureau of Securities also settled with the defendant companies, which are ordered to pay restitution of $73,767,700 for the benefit of investors.
The 2003 complaint alleged that Wellesley Services and several other related companies were established to consult, develop, promote and prepare packages of mergers and acquisition transactions involving privately held companies in various industries, including solid waste, recycling, commercial and residential, fuel, energy, transportation and trucking.
Giacomaro, Bianco and Moody allegedly neglected to tell investors that their funds would be used to support the defendants’ private business ventures; to lease expensive luxury cars for themselves and family members; to pay personal childcare expenses; to fund Giacomaro and Moody’s lavish lifestyles; and to buy and renovate multi-million dollar homes in upscale neighborhoods.
The three men also failed to tell investors that the securities they were selling were not registered in New Jersey as required by the New Jersey Uniform Securities Law and that they were not registered to sell securities of any kind.
“Our goal is to protect investors who have been victimized by unscrupulous businesses. By securing judgments of restitution through the Giacomaro settlement and the court order, we have done just that,” said Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Stephen B. Nolan. “This should serve as notice to anyone who makes an illegal profit by violating the trust of a client that the repercussions of such actions will be harsh.”
Giacomaro previously pleaded guilty in state and federal courts to Division of Criminal Justice charges of money laundering and federal charges of mail fraud and tax evasion. Giacomaro began serving his current federal sentence in January 2002, following a 1996 guilty plea to charges of conspiring to embezzle money from an employee pension benefit plan and conspiring to defraud creditors of Imperial Air Freight, Inc. Bianco and Moody have federal indictments pending against them for their conduct related to Wellesley Services.
“This case underscores our efforts to protect investors in New Jersey,” said Bureau of Securities Chief Franklin L. Widmann. “The Bureau’s investigation ultimately led to the exposing of this multi-million dollar fraud against those investing for their retirements, their children’s education and other priorities. Scams such as this one threaten the financial security of our citizens and investors need to be wary.”
The investigation was conducted by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities Supervising Investigator Rudolph G. Bassman and was prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Victoria A. Manning and Toral Makani Joshi.