Philadelphia Ponzi Scheme in Italian Wine and Olive Oil

Phony Philadelphia Importer Bilks Investors for More than $3 Million

William Bucci, a Philadelphia man, was recently sentenced to more than six years in prison due to an investment fraud scheme. The investment fraud scheme centered around Italian imported goods and Jersey shore real estate, from which he took in excess of three million dollars from a handful of victims from 2003 to 2011.

Investments Used to Keep Ponzi Scheme Going

“He falsely represented to people that he was raising money for an olive oil and wine business that was going to import goods from Italy”
David Ignall- U.S. Attorney’s Office

Several of Bucci’s clients were led to believe the investments he offered them were being used to start a business in which he was importing expensive wines and olive oils from Italy. More than one million dollars were invested by his clients, with promises of net gains of more than 10%. Instead, Bucci used these investments to cover personal expenses and to repay earlier victims involved in the fraud, which has all the trappings of a classic Ponzi Scheme.

Former Stockbroker Imprisoned for Ponzi Scheme

In 2011, after obtaining a $480,000 loan from Beneficial Bank, Bucci purchased property in Brigantine, New Jersey. Shortly thereafter, Bucci began failing to make payments on the real estate, as well falsifying financial statements with omitted liabilities. In 2013, FINRA barred Bucci for accepting loans from 9 separate investors in excess of $600,000, violating FINRA rules.
Bucci, a former stockbroker, plead guilty to six counts of fraud, including securities fraud, mail fraud, mortgage fraud, and wire fraud, as well as five counts of falsifying Federal income tax returns. His prison term begins next month, which will be followed by five years of supervised release after completing his term.

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If you or someone you know has been the victim of a Ponzi Scheme or any other form of investment fraud, contact our team of securities attorneys immediately for a free consultation by using our online contact form or by calling us toll-free at 215 462 3330.