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New Jersey Man Admits to $658 Million Ponzi Scheme and Tax Evasion


By: Richard L. Smith 

Thomas Nicholas Salzano, 65, from Secaucus, has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a $658 million Ponzi scheme and evading millions in taxes, as U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.TigerSalzano admitted his guilt in Newark federal court to securities fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and defrauding the United States.

According to court documents, from February 2018 through January 2022, Salzano and his associates misled investors of the NRIA Partners Portfolio Fund I LLC, a real estate fund operated by National Realty Investment Advisors LLC (NRIA), causing losses of $650 million.

Salzano, who secretly ran NRIA, engaged in aggressive marketing, using lies and misleading statements to deceive investors.

He also misappropriated millions from investors for personal gains.

FBI Special Agent James E. Dennehy emphasized the impact on investors, noting the history of failed Ponzi schemes.

IRS Special Agent Harry T. Chavis Jr. highlighted Salzano's evasion of taxes and the IRS's role in uncovering such fraud.

Under his plea agreement, Salzano faces 8 to 12 years in prison, forfeiture of $8.52 million, and restitution of $507.4 million to victims.

The securities fraud and wire fraud conspiracy crimes each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A $250,000 fine while defrauding the United States can result in up to five years in prison and a similar fine.

Sentencing is set for August 6, 2024.

This case underscores the severity of financial fraud and U.S. authorities' commitment to prosecuting such crimes.