Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
Reni Erdos, Director
For Immediate Release:
February 18, 2004
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, Genene Morris
NEWARK - A Superior Court judge has approved the State's request to freeze the assets of a Bergen County man and companies under his control as the State proceeds with its efforts to obtain restitution for at least 195 investors who may have lost millions of dollars in a real estate investment scam, Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, Division of Consumer Affairs Director Reni Erdos, and Bureau of Securities Chief Franklin L. Widmann said.
Essex County Superior Court Judge Harriet F. Klein also approved the appointment of a receiver who will take title to all properties and assets, including all entities holding investments, run by Michael Casey of Upper Saddle River.
Consumer Affairs' Bureau of Securities filed suit in December against Casey and twenty-six (26) entities under his control, alleging fraud and the sale of unregistered securities through a complex set of real estate based investments. The State alleges that the monies raised were illegally co-mingled, mismanaged and/or diverted to pay Casey's personal expenses and for other purposes unrelated to what investors were promised.
"Millions of investor dollars placed under Mr. Casey's control are not where they should be, and we will do everything in our power to get money back to those who were defrauded," Attorney General Harvey said. "The court's decision is a significant milestone in our efforts."
All records and documents related to the alleged fraud schemes will be reviewed as well.
"We're going to find every dollar we can and get that money back to the investors that Mr. Casey allegedly ripped off," Director Erdos said. "His ill-gotten gains will be forfeited and he will be held accountable for his actions."
"Fraud, deception and outright lies were used to separate these investors from their hard-earned dollars," BOS Chief Widmann said. "We are ready to seek out and find every asset under Mr. Casey's control."
"Mr. Casey weaved a tangled web, but Bureau of Securities investigators were able to track these alleged actions back to Mr. Casey," said First Assistant Attorney General Edward M. Neafsey.
John Cronin and Ethan Silver conducted the investigation for the BOS.
In addition to Casey, the other defendants named in the State's suit are Casey's wife, Frances Primiano Casey; DMC Properties, Ltd.; JFC, Ltd.; Midas Financial Planners of America, Inc.; Midas Investment Fund; Midas No-Load Funds, Inc.; Midas Park Ridge Tenants In Common (a/k/a 295 Spring Valley Road Associates); Midas Securities I, L.P.; Midas Security Investors of New Jersey (f/k/a Security Investors of New Jersey (f/k/a Michael Casey Enterprises)); Midas Trading; Midas Wantage Township L.P.; Midas Working Capital Fund, G.P.; 53 Grist Mill Lane; 126 Franklin Avenue Associates; 126 Franklin Avenue Associates Tenants In Common; 140 West Englewood Avenue Tenants In Common; 300 East Homestead Avenue Associates Tenants In Common; 329 Tenants In Common; 1266 Teaneck Road Associates; and 1266 Teaneck Road Associates Tenants In Common.
Casey allegedly used his tax preparation business and a series of investment workshops under the name Midas Financial Planning Services Group to recruit investors. These workshops, held as recently as August 2003 at the Clinton Inn in Tenafly, involved numerous oral and written misrepresentations to potential investors. Casey allegedly continued to conduct the workshops in violation of a consent order he entered into with the Bureau of Securities on April 7, 2003 that barred him from "issuing, selling, offering to sell, purchasing or offering to purchase, promoting, negotiating, advertising or distributing from or within New Jersey any securities or investment advisory advice concerning securities."
Deputy Attorney General David M. Puteska of the Division of Law is handling this matter for the State.