Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Ricky J. Patel, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security (“HSI”), announced today the unsealing of an Indictment charging NORMAN GRAY with wire fraud, in connection with a scheme to induce an individual (“Victim-1”) into wiring him funds through false promises that those funds would be put towards an equity stake in his purported global biomedical company (“Biomedical Company”) and certain purported investment deals involving the sale of personal protective equipment (“PPE”). GRAY was arrested this morning and will be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman later today. The case is assigned to United States District Judge Lorna G. Schofield.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Norman Gray, CEO of a purported global biomedical company, allegedly induced his victim investor to entrust Gray with over $1.2 million by claiming the risk involved in their PPE investment deals was ‘virtually zero.’ But in reality, the deals are alleged to be fictitious, and any chance of actually earning a profit with Gray’s investments was virtually zero. We thank the HSI for their assistance in this investigation and charge.”
Acting HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Ricky J. Patel said: “As alleged in the indictment, Norman Gray made fake promises and created a fictitious persona to dupe an investor for over a million dollars in real cash, but in the end, Gray’s dishonest imagination led him right into the hands of law enforcement. HSI Special Agents, in conjunction with our partners, will work tirelessly to prevent shameless activities perpetrated by fraudsters like Gray, who sell dreams of making big profits with little risk to unwitting investors. What made these acts even more deplorable was that he allegedly created this scheme by falsely purporting that the investments were going to legitimate companies providing vital PPE to the public.”
As alleged in the Indictment:
GRAY is the CEO of the Biomedical Company, which is headquartered and incorporated in Hamden, Connecticut. In or about August 2020, GRAY induced Victim-1 to give him $250,000, supposedly as an equity investment in the Biomedical Company. In reality, nearly all of the $250,000 was paid out to a company with no apparent affiliation with the Biomedical Company, and Victim-1 received no equity in the Biomedical Company. In the ensuing months, GRAY further solicited a total of approximately $1,200,000 from Victim-1, representing that he would invest those funds in deals involving the procurement of PPE for two major universities in the tristate area. GRAY represented that the necessary contracts for those deals were in place and that the risk involved with those deals was “virtually zero.” In reality, the necessary contracts did not exist, and GRAY caused substantially all of Victim-1’s funds to be spent on the Biomedical Company’s general operating expenses, as well as products and services having nothing to do with the Biomedical Company or the procurement of personal protective equipment, including, for example, the cash purchase of an approximately $50,000 luxury SUV.
As part of his scheme to fraudulently solicit funds from Victim-1, and as a means of dispelling Victim-1’s concern that an investment with GRAY would require Victim-1 to forego the purchase of a home, GRAY offered Victim-1 a mortgage from the “Tranctus Group.” GRAY claimed that “Tranctus Group” was a boutique mortgage company of which he was the sole investor. GRAY directed Victim-1 to his supposed mortgage broker “Benjamin Mabry.” In fact, “Benjamin Mabry” was a false persona invented by GRAY, and GRAY registered the internet domain associated with the “Tranctus Group” on the very same day that Victim-1 received a purported mortgage commitment letter from “Mabry.” Ultimately, Victim-1 received no return on Victim-1’s investments, GRAY refused to return Victim-1’s money to Victim-1, and the purported “Tranctus Group” mortgage failed to materialize.
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GRAY, 66, of the Hamden, Connecticut area, is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum potential prison sentence of 20 years. The maximum potential penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only; any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of Special Agents of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, New York City Police Department, New York City Sheriff’s Office, Bronx District Attorney, Greenburgh Police Department, and HSI New Haven.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin A. Gianforti and Tara La Morte are in charge of the prosecution.
The allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.