A Parkland man has pleaded guilty to his role in a $21 million investment fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer announced Monday.
Former Commodities Online LLC vice president Louis N. Gallo, III, 45, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, officials said.
According to court documents, Gallo conspired with co-defendants James C. Howard III, Michael R. Casey and others to defraud an estimated 700 investors between January 2010 and April 2011, prosecutors said.
The Fort Lauderdale-based company was shut down in April 2011 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a civil court order against the company.
Gallo and his co-conspirators told investors the company had a track record of profits, but there were none. Any payments made to investors were made using funds received from newer investors, investigators said.
While vice-president of Commodities Online LLC, Gallo diverted at least $2.5 million for himself and his family, court records stated.
Gallo’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 16.