Less than one week after a New Jersey father and son were arrested for an alleged short sale scheme, they became part of a group of six charged in a fraud that bilked investors out of over $3 million. George Bussanich, Sr. and his son, George Bussanich, Jr., are believed to have begun the alleged multi-million-dollar fraud scheme in 2014 mere weeks after settling a civil suit with the New Jersey Bureau of Securities for $5.5 million.
"The audacity of these defendants is astounding," said Acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman. "After the Bureau of Securities exposed how this father and son deceived investors, securing a $5.5 million settlement against them, the defendants allegedly went right back to their old game, defrauding investors of another $3 million and even using some of the new funds to make payments under the settlement. The game is up for these con artists, who potentially face very long prison sentences."
Following the settlement of the father and son's suit, which alleged that the duo defrauded twenty-six investors out of over $4 million, investigators claim the two solicited millions more from fifteen of the same investors for a "new bogus investment." According to Hoffman, investors would get monthly returns but no money was ever actually invested. Rather the cash was used to buy numerous houses, pay for restaurant bills, finance vacations, and purchase seven luxury cars, including two Maserati Quattroportes, a Ferrari F430 Spider and a Mercedes ML350. The monthly returns were paid from the original principal investment.
The father-son duo was banned from selling securities in New Jersey following the settlement.
The six New Jersey residents in the group face first-degree charges of conspiracy, racketeering, and money laundering, which carry sentences up to twenty years in state prison and up to $200,000 in fines.