WYCKOFF, N.J. -- Three defendants from Bergen County and a fourth from Westchester were charged by state authorities in a pair of schemes involving bogus medical ventures that cost investors a combined $350,000.
Arrested on warrants Tuesday by detectives from the state Division of Criminal Justice were Joseph Denti Jr., 56, of Wyckoff, and Joseph Giardina, 55, of Waccabuc, NY, Acting New Jersey Attorney General Robert Lougy said.
Charged through complaint summonses were Heidi Francavilla, 58, of Park Ridge, and Ralph Perricelli Jr., 55, of Ridgewood.
The group “convinced their victims that they had the inside track on great investments in the health care industry," Lougy said, but "they're really nothing but hustlers and con artists.”
Authorities uncovered the schemes after arresting Francavilla on Sept. 2 in a separate case with five other defendants, including George Bussanich Sr., 58, of Park Ridge, and his son, George Bussanich Jr., involving an investment scheme that bilked 15 victims out of $3 million.
In the new cases, detectives charged Denti, Giardina and Francavilla with conning a doctor out of a $250,000 investment for a bogus surgical center that they instead used for themselves, Lougy said.
They also charged Perricelli and Denti with convincing a married couple to invest $100,000 in a blood-testing laboratory by falsely claiming to be joint owners. The trio kept the money instead, Lougy said.
Denti and Perricelli laundered money using the bank account of another blood laboratory that Perricelli no longer owned.
Francaviglia also created several shell companies -- Medical Billing and Management, LLC, and HF Management Consultant, among them -- the defendants used to launder money, the attorney general said.
Detective Matthew Tully is the lead detective on the case for the DCJ's Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. The lead prosecutor is Deputy Attorney General Amy Simienski. Deputy Attorney General Brandy Malfitano has assisted, Lougy said.
“Beginning with a lead from our prior case against Francavilla, we followed the trail of stolen money and broken promises," Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig said.
Denti was being held on $100,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail.
Giardina was being held in the Westchester County Jail in White Plains, pending extradition to New Jersey.
All four were charged with conspiracy, theft by deception and money laundering.
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