Thursday, June 25, 2015

Former Chairman of International Credit Union Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

Samuel J. Cusumano Jr., 65, of Orlando, Florida, pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon to wire fraud in connection with his fraudulent solicitation of more than $17 million from 400 investors of the Swedish-registered Storehouse Credit Union.  The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Pamela C. Marsh for the Northern District of Florida.

During his plea, Cusumano admitted that between 2007 and 2009, as the chairman of the board of Storehouse, he promoted the international credit union as a high yield investment opportunity through intentionally misleading presentations and materials.  Cusumano fraudulently induced investors to transfer monies to investment accounts under Cusumano’s control by misrepresenting the rates of return being generated by the business.  He falsely claimed that Storehouse used professional currency traders when, in fact, Cusumano personally executed all trades from his home, investing primarily in the Foreign Currency Exchange Market.  Although the business was actually losing money, Cusumano created fraudulent financial statements to convince investors that Storehouse was reaching or exceeding the high rates of return that Cusumano had promised them.  When investors discovered that they were unable to withdraw their funds due to trading losses, a financial audit was conducted.   The audit revealed that investor funds had been depleted, that earnings had been overstated and that Cusumano had used a large portion of the investors’ funds to pay personal expenses.  Investors resided in the United States, including in the Northern District of Florida, Canada, Great Britain and Australia.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 22, 2015, at 12:30 p.m. at the U.S. Courthouse in Gainesville, Florida.  Cusumano faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.

The charges result from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory P. McMahon.

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