A West Islip man is among a trio indicted Thursday on charges they ran a $26 million Ponzi scheme under the guise of a paving stone import company on Long Island.
Newsday reports Vincent Buonauro, 40, is accused of ripping off investors after promising a high return on the sale of eco-friendly paving stones imported from Australia, while operating a company called Permapave Industries from 2006 to 2010. Fredric Aaron, 48, of Plainview, and Eric Aronson, 43, of Syosset, were also charged with running the alleged scheme.
The trio were arraigned Thursday at federal court in Central Islip, where the indictment was unsealed charging them with conspiracy, securities fraud and money laundering. All three men pleaded not guilty.
According to prosecutors, the three men used investor funds to pay back earlier investors, as well as more than $3 million to pay for personal expenses such as home mortgage payments, car payments, and credit card charges on items like jewelry and vacations.
The Long Island Press reports Marc Gottlieb, the Manhattan-based attorney for Buonauro, said he believes there are a lot of allegations in the case that are innacurrate.
“There are a lot of facts and circumstances that are not contained in the government’s case,” Gottlieb said.
The three men face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.