Brian Ongaro, Others Indicted For Mail Fraud, Conspiracy & Money Laundering
March 21, 2007 at 4:34 PM (PT)
A federal grand jury in PHOENIX has returned a 33-count indictment against DALLAS-based CBS RADIO Exec. VP/Western Region BRIAN ONGARO and eight other men for a violation of mail fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
The indictment alleges that from MAY 2001 through JUNE 2003, the men solicited investors to buy into medical outpatient companies and "grossly misrepresented" the financial benefits of owning and operating a facility. Prospective licensees paid anywhere from $100,000 to $165,000 to enter a contract for various services associated with getting these facilities up and running.
The defendants' scheme to defraud was ongoing and took in $40 million.
"The defendants' scheme to defraud was ongoing and took in $40 million," FBI Special Agent in Charge JOHN LEWIS stated. "They solicited new licensees through ads, the Internet, seminars, statements, and use of paid referrals, knowingly and intentionally misrepresenting the quality of their company's services by understating the costs and risks associated, including patient activity, potential income and profit."
Of the $40 million taken in, ONGARO is said to have received $750,000. A conviction for mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, a $250,000 fine or both; conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years and a $250,000 fine or both; and a conviction for money laundering carries a maximum 20 years and a $500,000 fine or both to each count.
ARIZONA's EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE reports that two of the men were arrested on MARCH 9 and that the others, including ONGARO, received a summons to appear in U.S. District Court.
Read the press release from the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE's Office of the U.S. Attorney, District of ARIZONA here.