Bridgewater resident Ralph Saviano, 72, was sentenced Wednesday to 27 months in prison, following his guilty plea to mail fraud charges, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
In June, Saviano, an investment advisor with nearly 40 years experience in the area, had entered a guilty plea to charges he stole $138,000 from two elderly clients through his financial advisory company to fund a lifestyle Fishman called "lavish." Fishman said the clients were told the funds were invested in "conservative securities and Saviano's business."
At the plea hearing on June 5, U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson, in Trenton federal court, entered a consent judgment and order of forfeiture in the amount of $699,926.51, which constitutes the proceeds Saviano obtained from his known investor victims as a result of his offense.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced Saviano to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $699,926.51.
In a parallel investigation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Sept. 6 issued an order instituting settled administrative proceedings against Saviano.
In its order, the SEC barred Saviano from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization.
It also barred him from participating in any offering of a penny stock, including: acting as a promoter, finder, consultant, agent or other person who engages in activities with a broker, dealer or issuer for purposes of the issuance or trading in any penny stock, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any penny stock.
Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Aaron T. Ford, in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence. He also thanked the SEC’s New York office for its assistance with the investigation.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.