Hudson County Man, Michael J. Clarke Arrested for Scheme to Defraud Investors
NEWARK, N.J (STL.News) A Hudson County, New Jersey, man will make his initial appearance today on charges that he defrauded victims by promising to invest their money in a ticket purchase and resale business, when in fact he diverted their investments for his own personal use and benefit and to pay back prior investors, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Michael J. Clarke, 62, of Jersey City, New Jersey, is charged by superseding indictment with two counts of wire fraud. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From October 2015 to October 2016, Clarke, who was a licensed municipal securities trader, represented to his victims that he separately operated a ticket brokering business that purchased tickets to entertainment and sporting events and then resold those tickets for a profit. Clarke also represented that he had access to permanent seat licenses for the U.S. Open Tennis Championships that could be purchased and resold for a profit.
The victims relied on his misrepresentations and invested money with Clarke, believing that they would receive a share of the profits from the sales of those tickets or U.S. Open seat licenses. Instead of using the victims’ money as promised, Clarke used their investments for his personal expenditures or to pay back prior investors in his ticket brokering business. In total, Clarke obtained approximately $617,400 from the victims over the course of the fraudulent scheme.
The counts of wire fraud are punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Kozar of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.