According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, John Mattera, of Fort Lauderdale, pleaded guilty to charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy in connection with a New York investment scam that took millions from investors. The 50-year-old mutual fund executive is in prison awaiting his sentencing date on February 1, 2013.
Mattera allegedly lied to investors and claimed that he and his mutual funds had access to early shares of popular online companies such as Groupon and Facebook. Investors apparently handed over $11 million to Mattera in the scheme, placing the money in escrow accounts. Prosecutors say Mattera emptied the accounts and used the investors’ cash on personal luxuries. Mattera is believed to have spent approximately $4 million of the investors’ money on items for his own personal enjoyment, including luxury cars, jewelry, and interior decorating.
“With false promises of profitable investments in high-profile stock, John Mattera lured unsuspecting investors into a meticulously orchestrated, multi-million dollar fraud scheme and used their money to fund his lavish lifestyle,” stated U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “With today's guilty plea, we begin the process of holding him to account for his crimes.”
Mattera faces a potential 10 to 12 years in prison for the charges against him, and he has already agreed to give up $13 million in his plea agreement.