A compulsive gambler from Passaic County who went to federal prison for three years for ripping off organizations that benefit schoolchildren and people with life-threatening illnesses went right back to scamming after he got out, federal authorities charged.
This time, Gregory Ciccone, 43, of Woodland Park orchestrated a scheme that defrauded investors of $1.35 million, much of which he used to buy a $54,330 BMW, clothes, wine and more, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
Ciccone told the 22 victims that he operated companies that reserved blocks of rooms of luxury hotels that then could be scalped — like event tickets — to elite clients, Honig said.
Investors were promised 15% to 50% returns on investments that Ciccone instead used for himself, the US attorney said. Besides the BMW, Ciccone spent $235,000 on purchase clothes, wine, and other personal items while also withdrawing $216,000 in cash, she said.
“In certain instances, [Ciccone] paid other investors to make them believe that their investment was generating profits,” Honig said.
That amount came to about $120,000.
To try and conceal the scam, Ciccone fudged statements and forged documents, among other deceptions, Honig said.
Ciccone also failed to mention that he’d served three years in federal prison and that the conditions of his supervised release banned him from conducting business without his probation officer’s approval, which he hadn’t gotten, the U.S. attorney…