Thursday, August 25, 2011

Update on 'Violating a Public Trust'

I could have told you he was shady ten years ago.  What I fail to understand is the thinking of public officials who invested with him and told me how great he was. 

From the FBI website:

Investment Adviser Sentenced to 10 Years in Ponzi Scheme

Dante DeMiro, 44, of Milford, was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison, and was ordered to pay over $12.9 million in restitution to the victims of an investment Ponzi scheme, United States Attorney Barbara McQuade announced. Joining in the announcement was Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
 
DeMiro was sentenced today by the Honorable Lawrence P. Zatkoff, following an April 2011 guilty plea to bank and wire fraud charges. According to court documents, DeMiro operated a widespread Ponzi scheme through his Southfield-based investment firm, MuniVest, from August 2007 to September 2010. DeMiro falsely promised investor clients—including various municipalities, credit unions, labor unions, and a school district—that he would invest their funds in low-risk certificates of deposit (CDs). He did not invest their funds as promised, but instead, used their money to purchase personal luxury items and real property, gamble, make payments to other investors in the same scheme in order to continue it, and make loans to several individuals and a local jewelry store. To convince his victims that the CDs had in fact been purchased when they had not, DeMiro routinely sent them copies of fake investment summary reports. Victim losses at sentencing totaled $12,900,904.

“The defendant in this case exploited the market downturn to convince conservative clients that their money was safe with him in low-risk certificates of deposit. We have seen more and more of these investment schemes, which prey upon school districts, municipalities, and unions,” McQuade said. “This significant sentence is important in deterring other investment advisors from stealing from vulnerable investors.”

Special Agent in Charge Arena stated, “Today’s swindlers artfully conceal their greed with sophisticated marketing and numerous misrepresentations. Investors and pension plan participants must remain diligent in following their money.“

DeMiro was immediately remanded into the custody of the United States Marshals following sentencing.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Shaw, with Assistant United States Attorney Linda Aouate handling the asset forfeiture.

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