STEVEN BINGAMAN, HAS BEEN INDICTED IN A $1.2 MILLION SECURITIES FRAUD AND PONZI SCHEME

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of STEVEN BINGAMAN, 54, and his corporate entities he controlled for stealing approximately $1.2 million from at least nine victims in a securities fraud and Ponzi scheme. BINGAMAN and his entities were previously indicted in January 2011 for stealing money from two victims for similar criminal conduct. The indictments charge BINGAMAN and his corporate entities with Grand Larceny, Money Laundering, Forgery in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, Falsifying Business Records, Scheme to Defraud, and Securities Fraud.[1]

“The defendant’s victims relied on him to conduct his business affairs with honesty and integrity, but he instead squandered their money to pay for his multiple homes, a Las Vegas bookie, and other personal expenses,” District Attorney Vance said. “This office will continue to root out and prosecute self-serving swindlers who steal from investors and create mistrust and instability in our financial markets.”

According to documents filed in court, BINGAMAN lied to investors and offered a series of misrepresentations about how their funds would be used. He falsely told several victims that their money would be safely invested or would be used to obtain financing for those victims. But instead of investing the victims’ money as promised, BINGAMAN used this money to fund his own lifestyle and, in some cases, to pay back other victims whom he had previously defrauded. BINGAMAN’s fraudulent use of the victims’ money included large cash withdrawals from bank accounts controlled by BINGAMAN, and payments for BINGAMAN’s personal expenses, including to credit card companies, to a Las Vegas bookmaker, and for mortgages on his homes in Bedford, New York, and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

With respect to some of the victims, BINGAMAN solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars as an investment in APPLEBY TELECOMMUNICATIONS LLC (“APPLEBY”), a telecommunications company he purportedly ran. BINGAMAN falsely told these victims that their money would only be used for a particular purpose, such as purchasing telecommunications minutes for which the company already had received customers’ money in escrow, thus making the investment itself seem safe. Bingaman also promised that the victims’ money would be liquid and available for refund on short notice. However, the victims’ money was not liquid, nor was it available to refund. Bank and other records show that Bingaman spent the victims’ money and used a large portion of it for expenses unrelated to his telecommunications business.

In another part of the scheme outlined in court documents, BINGAMAN told a victim that, in order to obtain financing for an investment project, the victim had to send $50,000 to BINGAMAN to show his “financial wherewithal.” BINGAMAN promised that the money would be put “in escrow” with a BINGAMAN-affiliated entity and returned to the victim if the financing did not come through. But the money was never sent to any affiliate. Instead, BINGAMAN spent the $50,000 within a few days on personal expenses. The financing BINGAMAN promised never came to fruition, nor did he return any of the money to the victim.

Additionally, BINGAMAN engaged in a Ponzi scheme. He falsely told these victims that their money was being used for a legitimate purpose, but instead, he used that money to pay back other victims whom he had previously defrauded. Many of BINGAMAN’s victims were not paid back.

Senior Investigative Counsel Judith Weinstock and Assistant District Attorney Sarah Sacks presented the case to the grand jury under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Richard Weber, Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, and Assistant District Attorneys Micki Shulman and Adam Miller, Deputy Chiefs of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau. Investigator Erika Figueroa and Senior Investigator Angelo Pisani assisted in the investigation under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Michael Wigdor and Chief Investigator John Bilich. Trial preparation assistants Howard Lempel, Eunice Choi, Sussan Lee and Gil Thompson, as well as Supervising Financial Investigator Nicholas Cangro and Financial Investigator Chun Ho, assisted in the investigation. Assistant District Attorney Madeleine Guilmain is handling an asset forfeiture matter against BINGAMAN.

Staff from the New York Regional Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the Bedford Police Department and the County District Attorneys’ Offices in Bexar County, Texas, and Fulton County, Georgia, also assisted in this investigation.



Defendant Information:

STEVEN BINGAMAN, D.O.B., 10/20/1956
Bedford, NY

Complete Charges:

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, class C felony, 7 counts
Money Laundering in the Second Degree, class C felony, 1 count
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, class D felony, 4 counts
Forgery in the Second Degree, class D felony, 3 counts
Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, class D felony, 3 counts
Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, class E felony, 3 counts
Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count
Securities Fraud, class E felony, 9 counts



AESOP FINANCIAL CORPORATION
New York, NY

Complete Charges:

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 6 counts

Money Laundering in the Second Degree, class C felony, 1 count

Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
Securities Fraud, a class E felony, 6 counts
Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count



APPLEBY TELECOMMUNICATIONS, LLC
New York, NY

Complete Charges:

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 4 counts
Money Laundering in the Second Degree, class C felony, 1 count

Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, class D felony, 1 count

Securities Fraud, a class E felony, 5 counts
Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count



ASSET GROWTH PARTNERS & CO., LLC
New York, NY

Complete Charges:

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 5 counts
Money Laundering in the Second Degree, class C felony, 1 count

Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, class D felony, 2 counts

Securities Fraud, a class E felony, 7 counts
Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count



DUVAL CAPITAL HOLDINGS, LLC
New York, NY

Complete Charges:

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count

Money Laundering in the Second Degree, class C felony, 1 count

Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count



GREENE SPRING COMPANY
New York, NY

Complete Charges:

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
Money Laundering in the Second Degree, class C felony, 1 count
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, class D felony, 1 count
Securities Fraud, a class E felony, 1count
Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count



A class C felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, a class D felony is punishable by up to 7 years in prison, and a class E felony is punishable by up to 4 years in prison.

[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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