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Five Charged in Connection with Alleged Internet Fraud Scheme That Obtained More Than $1 Million

By kbm0423 on
Somerset County Union County

Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced charges against five individuals in connection with an internet fraud scheme involving the sale of aircraft equipment and replacement parts.

According to Acting Attorney General Platkin, between the dates of February 3, 2017, and March 28, 2022, the defendants allegedly participated in a conspiracy to defraud business entities by pretending to sell specialized equipment, including airline ground support equipment (GSE) and hydraulic jacks. 

Shortly after payments for purchased equipment entered bank accounts, the defendants allegedly removed the funds via a series of cash withdrawals or transfers to another identified co-conspirator’s account. 

However, the victims never received the equipment or a refund. 

Acting Attorney General Platkin said that the defendants allegedly obtained more than $1 million from businesses operating throughout the United States and internationally through fraudulent means.

Antonio P. Signo, aka “Tony Demetro,” 35, of Somerset, Sonny Signo, 54, of Elizabeth, Eddie S. Signo, 28, of Iselin and Champagne Thompson, 29, of Iselin were all arrested and charged on March 31 with Conspiracy and Receiving Stolen Property.

Additionally, Signo was charged with Theft by Deception and Money Laundering.

According to Acting Attorney General Platkin, co-defendant Cindy K. Drake, 36, of Somerset, was charged on a complaint-summons for receiving stolen property in connection with the internet scheme. 

Antonio Signo is detained pending trial in the Somerset County Jail. All others were released.

The charges are the result of an investigation opened by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau after it received a referral from the Scottsdale, Arizona Police Department.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Division of Criminal Justice Tip Line at 866-847-7425.