Ringleader Of Investment Scam Pleads Guilty To Felony Counts
Attorney General Spitzer today announced that an Erie County woman accused of spearheading an investment scam that resulted in losses of nearly $2 million to hundreds of individuals in Western New York pled guilty today before New York State Supreme Court Justice Nelson H. Cosgrove.
May O'Shei, 49, of Orchard Park pled guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, which is punishable by up to seven years imprisonment, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, which is punishable by up to four years imprisonment.
"This office will continue to prosecute individuals who violate the laws intended to protect the hard-working investing public," Spitzer said.
In October, two other defendants in the case, Joseph Kalczynski and Kenneth Canzoneri, each pled guilty to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. They have yet to be sentenced.
O'Shei was the creator and prime investment solicitor of International Global Inventions, a company that sold unregistered investments in its subsidiaries, Tri-Crown Inc., D & D Enterprises, Inc., and The Fish Company of Erie County, Inc., between early 1997 and September 2000. These companies claimed to be involved in the manufacture of double-headed bingo dabbers, which the defendants predicted would be a rage with millions of bingo players across the nation.
It is estimated that nearly 400 Western New Yorkers lost almost $2 million in a scheme that promised investors returns of as much as 300 percent a year within one year of investing. Some of the other misrepresentations made to individuals to induce them to invest included:
- Representing that the product was already manufactured and market-ready when, in fact, it was not; and
- Stating that they had advance orders for millions of dabbers from major distributors of bingo products when, in fact, they had none.
O'Shei is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2, 2003.
This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Dennis Rosen with the assistance of Investigator Harold Frank, both of the Buffalo Regional Office and Sondra Lavine, a forensic auditor in the Investigations Bureau.