Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim announced Tuesday a New York man pleaded guilty to securities fraud.
Forty-three-year-old Joseph Meli of Manhattan defrauded about $95 million from more than 130 investors. Meli utilized investor funds to tickets to several live events for resale at a profit on the secondary market between 2015 and January 2017, according to court documents.
Meli utilized a large portion of the investor funds for his own personal use, including an East Hampton $3 million home, 2017 Porsche, and expensive jewelry. He told investors that he had entered agreements with popular music bands, Broadway shows, management companies and singers to purchase “large blocks of tickets” to performances and shows.
Meli never had contractual rights to purchase such tickets or entered into such agreements. He created fraudulent documents to reflect the agreements between his company and the management and production companies.
The securities fraud charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence and $5 million fine. Meli’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 31, 2018.