The two business partners of a pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
Carmen Provenzano, 29, of Garfield, Daniel Dragan, 41, of Lebanon admitted to bilking more than $3.5 million out of investors in a conspiracy that promised massive returns on investments, Fishman announced on Wednesday.
, Fishman's office claimed the trio in 2009 began claiming to have a "secret computer program" that could predict foreign currency trends. One investors reportedly lost more than $2 million in the scheme, in which he was allegedly promised returns of more than 170 percent.
Fake e-mail accounts and screenshots of the purported magic software were created to further mislead investors, US Attorneys alleged.
According to Fishman, the money went just about everywhere but in investments. Provenzano and Dragan admitted to sporting a lavish lifestyle, which included dropping a $4,000 tip on a an $18,000 bar tab at a Hollywood club; trips around the world; a new Land Rover and more. The monthly credit card bills averaged $25,0000, Fishman said.
Sepero leased a BMW and bought both a Mini Cooper and an $80,000 customized Ford F-350 “Harley-Davidson Edition” pickup truck, Fishman said. He is also accused of using the money to pay for home improvements and mortgage payments, among other expenses.
The wire fraud conspiracy count carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss from the offense. Provenzano and Dragan are expected to be sentenced in November.
Sepero, indicted in June on 16 counts of wire fraud conspiracy, still awaits trial. He .