Long Island Businessman Admits To Defrauding Investors In Distribution of Wine Featured On 'Shark Tank'


The owner and operator of a Long Island wine and liquor business that was featured on “Shark Tank” is facing up to 20 years in prison for defrauding investors.

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Joseph Falcone, of Melbourne, Florida, pleaded guilty this week in federal court in Central Islip to wire fraud for his scheme to solicit investors out of thousands of dollars, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue announced.

In December 2012, Falcone established 3G’s VINO LLC, which operated in Bethpage and Farmingdale. Donoghue said that among other products, the stores distributed a single-serving, wine in a sealed glass that was featured on the television program “Shark Tank.”

Between September 2014 and November 2015, Falcone solicited investments and promised potential investors that he would use their money to fund 3G’S, such as by purchasing the single-serving wine product.

Relying on those promises, investors wired funds from bank accounts in New York to bank accounts in Florida controlled by Falcone.  Instead of investing the money as promised, Falcone used approximately $527,064 of the investors’ money to purchase a residence in Florida and to support his online securities trading.

“Falcone lured investors into believing that they were funding an up-and-coming business and then used their money to purchase his Florida home and to finance his online securities trading,” Donoghue said.  “This Office will continue to protect the investing public by prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law those who use deceptive practices to enrich themselves.”

You can read more from the U.S. Department of Justice here