Suffolk County, NY - November 15, 2016 - Three men face grand larceny and scheme to defraud charges following their indictment alleging their involvement in a multimillion dollar investment scam, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
The premise of the scheme, District Attorney Spota said, involved the defendants’ promises and claims they had created the next big social media platform, and that their internet project was sponsored by the office supply company Staples and the social media business Myspace.
The indictment charges Kenneth Martino of Huntington, Timothy Mueller of Greenport and Jared Widman of Harvey’s Lake, Pennsylvania with multiple charges of grand larceny in the first, second and third degrees and two counts of scheme to defraud in the first degree.
At Mueller’s arraignment before State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho today, the defendant pleaded not guilty to one count of grand larceny in the first degree, five counts of grand larceny in the second degree, three counts of grand larceny in the third degree and two charges of scheme to defraud in the first degree. The court set cash bail for Mueller, 54, at $250,000 or $750,000 bond.
Jared Widman, 32, pleaded not guilty one count of grand larceny in the first degree, eight counts of grand larceny in the second degree, four counts of grand larceny in the third degree and two charges of scheme to defraud in the first degree. Justice Camacho set cash bail for Widman at $250,000 or $750,000 bond.
Martino, 52, will appear tomorrow (11/15/2016) in Central Islip before Justice Camacho for arraignment.
“By using high pressure sales tactics, including claims that “short term funding” was desperately needed to complete the project or it would fall apart, these defendants were successful in pressuring their victims into giving in excess of $5 million dollars,” District Attorney Spota said.
None of the money went to business-related expenses the defendants claimed the investment money was needed for, and the defendants’ relationship with Staples and Myspace was fictitious. The investigation determined the defendants used investors’ money to pay for luxury vehicles, golf club fees, tickets for sports events, gambling expenses and credit card bills.