LAWFUEL – Legal News Service – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Division, and Michael E. Yasofky, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, announced the unsealing of forty-two count Racketeering indictment returned by Fort Lauderdale grand jury on January 22, 2008. Charged in the indictment are defendants Vincent Artuso, John Vincent Artuso, Gregory Orr, Robert Gannon, Philip Edward Forgione, and William Larry Horton are charged with a RICO conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d); ten counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; fifteen counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section, 1341; and money laundering conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h). Horton is also charged with making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. The defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearance in West Palm Beach federal court on Friday, January 25, 2008 at 10:00 a.m.
According to the indictment, Vincent Artuso, a member of the Gambino Organized Crime Family, supervised and directed members of an enterprise, including his son, John Vincent Artuso, Gregory Orr, Robert Gannon, Philip Edward Forgione and William Larry Horton, in the commission of various frauds against numerous victims throughout the United States and against ADT Security Services, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyco International Ltd.
According to the indictment, for the past several years the Artusos, Orr and Gannon operated Atlantic Magazine Service, a subscription telemarketing company, located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, and elsewhere. These defendants are alleged to have supervised and directed salesmen in the fraudulent sales of magazine subscriptions to victims across the country. This included making false statements and misrepresentations to numerous victims to sell subscriptions to various magazines and to obtain their confidential credit card information. The illegal proceeds were then distributed among the defendants.
In addition, the indictment alleges that defendant Horton, a vice-president of Planning and Development at ADT Security Services, Inc., participated with the other defendants in defrauding ADT of millions of dollars for the benefit of the criminal enterprise. Horton’s employer had directed him to sell several of ADT office buildings across the country and lease back the property for the company. In furtherance of the fraud against ADT, Horton sold four of ADT’s office buildings to the Artusos, Orr, Gannon and Forgione. Although Horton represented the seller (ADT), unbeknownst to ADT, he was also partners with the buyers. Horton sold the multi-million dollar properties to the defendants far below market value and then immediately leased them back to ADT at a cost substantially above fair market value. Thereafter, the monthly lease payments made by ADT were made to limited liability companies formed by the defendants for the purpose of concealing their ownership interests, including Horton’s own ownership interest. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in lease payments made by ADT was then divided among the defendants. In this way, the defendants defrauded ADT of at least $7,000,000 in a period of five years. The four office buildings and all proceeds are the subject of forfeiture count in the indictment.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years’ imprisonment on the RICO conspiracy and mail and wire fraud charges, and Horton faces an additional 5 years’ imprisonment on the false statement count.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service in successfully concluding this complex five year financial investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William T. Shockley and J. Brian McCormick.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.