Bloomberg News

New Jersey Woman Pleads Guilty in $2 Million Ponzi Scheme

September 15, 2011

(Updates with prosecutors’ comments in third paragraph.)

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- A New Jersey woman who stole $2 million from investors in a Ponzi scheme and then used some of the money for a cruise and luxury goods pleaded guilty to wire fraud, federal prosecutors said.

Jenifer Devine, 39, of Fair Lawn, entered the plea today before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a statement. She faces as long as 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of her gain or victims’ loss as a result of her criminal conduct at her Dec. 20 sentencing, according to the statement.

Devine was arrested in November and accused of soliciting investors from New Jersey and elsewhere in the U.S. from December 2008 to September 2010, telling them that she would use their money to fund a wholesale clothing and electronics business and promising returns of as much as 25 percent, prosecutors said.

More than 15 investors sent more than $8 million to Devine, who used the money to make principal and interest payments to existing investors and for personal expenses -- including a Royal Caribbean cruise and purchases at luxury retailers such as Burberry, Coach and Gucci, prosecutors said.

The case is U.S. vs. Devine, 11-cr-00613, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.

--Editors: Andrew Dunn, Mary Romano

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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