Samuel Serritella, 66, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud. He reportedly received some $1.7 million from 300 investors.
Serritella has admitted that he convinced investors to purchase unregistered shares in International Surfacing Inc. the New Jersey-based company he was chairman, chief financial officer, and president of that was supposedly going to make therapeutic horseshoes to help horses get ready for the Olympics.
Serritella, who was not authorized to sell securities in the state, is accused of making the share sales between February 2004 and May 2006, placing investors’ funds into several bank accounts that were under his control, and using the money to pay for personal expenses (including travel, hotel bills, tavern expenses, and medical bills) and lend $84,000 to three friends.
While Serritella did use some of the money for startup expenses and payments to the company contracted to help make the horseshoes, prosecutors say he never actually purchased the equipment for manufacturing them. He had also charged Serritella with theft by deception, money laundering, misapplication of entrusted property, and misconduct by a corporate official,
As Texas Securities Fraud Lawyer William Shepherd, noted, “100 years ago it was legal in Texas to shoot a horse thief; but getting scammed into investing in “orthopedic shoes” for horses? The “buyer-beware” principle may apply.
Serritella will have to pay back his investor. If convicted, he could end up behind bars for up to a decade.
Related Web Resources:
NJ man admits $1.7M fraud involving horseshoes, Washington Post, October 25, 2010
Garfield man charged with bilking investors of $1.7M, NJ Newsroom, July 21, 2009
With securities fraud law offices in Dallas and Houston, Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP represents victims of Texas investment fraud.