N.J. Man Hit With Ponzi Scheme Charges

Jun 29 2012 | 11:44am ET

A New Jersey man has been charged with a $4 million hedge fund fraud—on top of another scam to steal an elderly woman's life savings.

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey slapped George Sepero with 17 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy for the hedge fund fraud. Sepero is also charged with conspiracy for stealing the ailing woman's life savings, promising to invest the money in an annuity.

Sepero and his accused partner, Carmelo Provenzano, were arrested last year. According to prosecutors, they trumpeted triple-digit returns and a proprietary algorithmic trading system, none of which existed, the complaint alleges, sending clients faked statements and e-mailing them screenshots of their much-ballyhooed computer trading program.

Instead, Sepero and Provenzano used most, if not all, of the money raised to fund an extravagant lifestyle and to repay previous investors as part of a Ponzi scheme.

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