North Carolina Man Sentenced to 90 Months in Prison for $1.4 Million Investment Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 20, 2012|
CAMDEN, NJ—A Coquino Beach, North Carolina man was sentenced today to 90 months in prison for his role in an investment scheme that defrauded investors of $1.4 million, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Michael Noreski, 55, formerly of Mantua, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb on June 6, 2011 to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud. Judge Bumb imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Noreski was the owner of 4 Solutions LLC, a Gibbsboro, New Jersey company that purported to facilitate short sale property transactions for distressed homeowners.
Noreski admitted that in connection with this business, he defrauded 10 or more victims of more than $1,000,000.
Noreski, assisted by John Fikaris, 29, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, used approximately $195,000 in forged checks taken from an incapacitated individual, without that individual’s guardian’s permission or knowledge, for 4 Solutions’s initial operating expenses and for Noreski’s personal expenses.
After establishing 4 Solutions, Noreski then solicited investors in a variety of ways, including soliciting advance fees for purported short sales on properties belonging to the investors, soliciting investors for the purchase of distressed mortgage notes and bad debt, and soliciting investors to purchase foreclosed properties from banks.
Noreski made false claims to these investors in order to get them to invest.
He falsely claimed to have facilitated hundreds of short sales and to have connections with banks when, in fact, he had no such experience or connections.
Noreski admitted that in 2008 he relocated this scheme from New Jersey to North Carolina to evade law enforcement.
Fikaris, who left 4 Solutions shortly after its inception and was not charged in the investment scheme, pleaded guilty on December 17, 2010, to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to transport forged checks in interstate commerce. Fikaris is awaiting sentencing.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced Noreski to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $1,234.989.63 in restitution to the victims of his offense.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George C. Venizelos in Philadelphia; and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Karen Higgins in Philadelphia, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill of the Criminal Division in Camden.