MANALAPAN – A barred broker dealer has been sentenced to 45 months for defrauding 14 victims of more than $1.2 million as well as fraudulently obtaining a loan meant for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.
Anthony Mastroianni Jr., 49, of Manalapan, pleaded guilty on September 13, 2023, to information charging him with two counts of wire fraud.
“This defendant admitted defrauding investors by taking the money they entrusted to him and using it for his personal benefit, rather than investing it,” U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said. “He did this after already having agreed never to work as broker. Investors need to know their money is being used for their best interest, and not to line the pockets of criminals. Mastroianni is now realizing the price that must be paid for stealing from innocent victims.”
Mastroianni consented to being permanently barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2016, which prohibited him from acting as a broker or intermediary in securities transactions.
Mastroianni admitted that from January 2017 to August 2022 he defrauded victim investors, many being senior citizens, by falsely and fraudulently claiming that he would generate large investment profits for them through his company, Global Business Development & Consulting Corporation.
Mastroianni used the money instead for personal expenses. In total, Mastroianni defrauded 14 victims of approximately $1.2 million, officials said.
In addition, Mastroianni exploited the ongoing global pandemic by submitting a fraudulent application to obtain about $96,300 from a federal COVID-19 emergency relief loan which is meant for distressed small businesses.
According to officials, Mastroianni misused the loan proceeds to make personal purchases and cash withdrawals.
Along with the prison term, Mastroianni was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $1.3 million.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.