A reputed Gambino crime-family associate who headed an elaborate, $20 million stock scheme admitted this morning that he wagered some of his proceeds in illegal gambling operations.
Michael Scarpaci, 34, pleaded guilty to racketeering tied to his roles in an Internet sports-betting ring and high-stakes poker games.
He agreed to serve up to 30 months behind bars in addition to the five years he faces for running the bogus "Gryphon Financial" investment firm, which duped investors through a "boiler room" located in a Staten Island strip mall.
During a hearing in Manhattan federal court, the recovering alcoholic and drug addict said he steered fellow bettors to his Web-based, off-shore sports bookie and also recruited players to join him at card games in Manhattan hotels....MORE
In its unending quest to prove something, for the second time today the SEC has ruined a good thing. First, it was a firm trying to raise money to get its sex-themed cruises off the ground. Now, it’s Gryhpon Financial, whose management team faces securities and wire fraud. The individuals possibly going away for up to twenty years each include Kenneth Marsh, 43, Baldwin Anderson, 55, Robert Anthony Budion, 28, Jeanne Lada, 44 and James T. Levier, 34. Those names won’t mean anything to the investors who got taken for a ride for more than $17.5 million, because the firm used fake names, claiming it was run by president “Michael Warren” and vice-president “Kenneth Maseka” (the latter fictional character’s pedigree included degrees from Harvard, Oxford, Columbia and Wharton and job with Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs). Other (awesome) facts about the firm that turned out to be untrue included:
* An office building “in the heart of the financial world at 110 Wall St., 11th Floor.” The actual office can be found at 3767 Victory Blvd., next to a martial arts school and a bakery.
* Props from George Soros, who is quoted as saying: “Alone, the Gryphon Financial are incredible, together they are unstoppable.”...MORE