TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a con artist from Burlington County, N.J., was sentenced to state prison today for conspiring with a Canadian partner in a scheme in which they posed as investment bankers and financial advisors to steal more than $500,000 from clients who were promised millions of dollars in venture capital.
New Jersey con artist Albert A. Paramito Jr., 40, of Marlton, N.J., was sentenced to five years in prison by Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert in Burlington County. He pleaded guilty on June 4, 2012, to a charge of second-degree conspiracy. He entered a consent judgment to pay $200,798 in restitution, representing his share of the stolen funds. A guilty plea was also entered for his company, Paramito Global Holding Inc., a Nevada corporation with an address in Voorhees.
Deputy Attorney General Betty Rodriguez prosecuted the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Sgt. Robert Walker was the lead detective for the Division of Criminal Justice.
Paramito was indicted on Sept. 16, 2011, along with Priti Ramjee, a Toronto woman who allegedly was his business partner. Ramjee faces pending charges of conspiracy, theft by deception, misconduct by a corporate official and money laundering, all in the second degree. Ramjee failed to appear for her arraignment and other scheduled court appearances, and a warrant has been issued for her arrest.
In pleading guilty, Paramito admitted that between October 2006 and September 2008, he and Ramjee conspired to obtain advance fees from six clients, ranging from $40,000 to $284,000, falsely claiming they would arrange for millions of dollars in financing for the clients’ projects. He admitted they stole approximately $534,000 in fees, while never arranging any financing.
“Paramito posed as a well-connected financier and promised to secure millions of dollars in venture capital for his clients, but instead he ruthlessly stole their money,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “We’re working hard to protect investors by putting con artists like this one in prison.”
“Our detective and prosecuting attorney started with a lead from a businessman who had been defrauded, and soon uncovered five other entrepreneurs who had been ripped off by Paramito and his alleged partner,” said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice. “I commend them for doggedly pursuing all of the evidence that led to this prison sentence.”
The victims and their projects were spread across the U.S. and included one Canadian venture. A man who ran a broadband communications company paid the defendants $284,000 in advance fees after the defendants promised to secure $27.8 million in funding for his firm. Two of the other clients ran film production companies in Los Angeles. They each paid $50,000 in advance fees expecting that Paramito and Ramjee would raise millions of dollars for each company to produce a film. Ramjee allegedly told one of the film clients she could raise $30 million.
In similar fashion, the defendants obtained $50,000 from a man who wanted to raise $20 million for a wind energy project in Canada, $60,000 from a man who wanted to raise millions of dollars to build a causeway across a lake in Utah for a toll road, and $40,000 from a man who wanted to buy a defunct hospital in Kansas to develop as an assisted living facility.
In some instances, the defendants represented that they would become partners in the ventures and executed agreements with the clients regarding profit sharing and other terms. None of the victims received any financing. Several demanded reimbursement of their fees, but Paramito and, allegedly, Ramjee refused to return the money. The stolen funds were laundered through personal and corporate bank accounts in New Jersey and Canada.
Paramito also operated several other companies, including Affinity Financial Service LLC of Voorhees, N.J., Paramito Asset Management LLC of Pennsylvania, Paramito Pictures LLC of Delaware, and PGH-Canada Ltd. of Ontario, Canada. Ramjee allegedly represented herself as senior vice president of PGH-Canada and head of Paramito Productions. Victims indicated that she appeared knowledgeable with respect to both financial matters and film production.
The indictment against Ramjee is merely an accusation and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Attorney General Chiesa and Director Taylor noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has a confidential, toll-free tipline for the public to report financial fraud, corruption and other illegal activities: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ. The public also can log on to the Division Web site at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially.