A Jersey Shore hustler embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments from a Philadelphia-based tech startup when he was its chief operating officer, federal authorities have charged.
Joseph Geromini, 54, of Linwood told investors who contributed roughly $2.25 million that he would use their money to help build the company, which developed blood testing for various diseases, an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Camden alleges.
The Atlantic County resident promised to “further develop and commercialize its products and services, for lab expenses, and to pay employee salaries,” Acting U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Rachael A. Honig said Wednesday.
Instead, she said, Geromini “diverted significant portions of their funds out of the company’s bank account for purposes inconsistent with its business operations, including to pay himself hundreds of thousands of dollars through unauthorized wire transfers, ATM cash withdrawals and debit card transactions.”
Geromini also “frequently misrepresented to the company that the unauthorized wire transfers were intended to compensate him for his employment,” the U.S. attorney said.
He told the CEO, for example, that he was entitled to separate bonus payments for two contracts that he’d secured for the company, she said.
Geromini was scheduled for a Wednesday afternoon video-conferenced arraignment before a federal magistrate judge in Camden following the unsealing earlier in the day of an indictment charging him with 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of securities fraud, Honig said.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also has filed a civil complaint against Geromini “based on the allegations underlying the securities fraud charges,” she said.
Honig credited special agents of the FBI with the investigation leading to the indictment, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden of her Trenton Office.
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