Guilty Plea in Ponzi Scheme


The boss of a defunct New Jersey-based development firm, Thomas Nicholas Salzano, 65, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy charges in a $658 million Ponzi scheme that promised market-beating returns on real estate ventures that were barely profitable. Salzano, described as the “shadow chief executive” of National Realty Investment Advisors, has agreed to a prison term of eight to 12 years and must pay $516 million in forfeitures and restitution.

Deception and Greed Unveiled

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger stated that Salzano continuously deceived investors, operating his business as a Ponzi scheme to siphon money from thousands of individuals. Sellinger condemned Salzano for his greed and blatant disregard for the law, resulting in significant losses for many.

Salzano’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment on the matter. In October 2022, Salzano was indicted for his involvement in defrauding over 2,000 investors, alongside NRIA President Rey E. Grabato II. Prosecutors revealed that Grabato’s position was more symbolic, as Salzano concealed his true control of the company to evade detection of previous fraudulent activities.

The Mysterious Case of Grabato and NRIA

Grabato, currently a fugitive believed to be in the Philippines, has been causing quite a stir. The prosecutors revealed this shocking information in a court filing not too long ago. Surprisingly, Grabato’s attorney, as identified in court documents, remained silent despite attempts to contact.

Salzano, Grabato, and other top executives at NRIA faced yet another blow as they were indicted in a separate civil action by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Interestingly, this SEC action was temporarily halted during the ongoing criminal case. This case, originally set to commence next month, took a different turn after Salzano entered a guilty plea.

Bankruptcy & Financial Turmoil

Adding to the chaos, NRIA found itself filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in June 2022. Currently, the bankruptcy proceedings are still unfolding.

Deceptive Promises and Allegations

NRIA’s enticing advertisements on major national broadcast networks like Fox News and Bloomberg Radio painted a picture of lucrative investment opportunities with promises of extraordinary returns. However, the truth came to light as prosecutors unveiled that NRIA allegedly operated as a Ponzi scheme, surviving on funds collected from new investors.

For more updates on this unraveling story, stay connected.

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