Sharmon Wade pled guilty to grand larceny, securities fraud, scheme to defraud, and violation of tax law

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the guilty plea of SHARMON WADE, who is charged with luring inexperienced investors with false representations to contribute to no-risk, high-rate-of-return investments in commercial real estate properties. In reality the purported investments were fictitious, and the defendant stole more than $1 million from investors. Wade pled guilty to grand larceny, securities fraud, scheme to defraud, and violation of tax law.

“The defendant preyed on hard-working New Yorkers,” said District Attorney Vance. “This scheme was founded on brazen lies -- there was never an intention on the part of the defendant to fulfill his promises to investors. This Office is committed to putting an end to existing financial schemes and preventing future ones.”

WADE, a principal of “The Covenant Equity Group,” a phony company created to perpetrate his fraud, pled guilty to stealing money from investors with his co-defendant CLAUDIUS HANNAH by omitting and falsifying information to induce individuals to invest their money in real estate investment properties, the company itself, and in a variety of other investment opportunities, according to court documents. In exchange for investing, WADE promised his victims no-risk return rates from 50 percent to more than 100 percent in 30 to 60 days. In fact, WADE and his co-defendant did not invest the money. The defrauded investors included court officers, a construction worker, a nurse, a homemaker, a printer, and a computer technician, and they were solicited to invest at various places, including a church, a nail salon, and a subway. Further, they were encouraged to refer other investors to the defendants in exchange for referral fees.

The case was handled by the Office’s Major Economic Crimes Bureau, which is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting large scale white collar frauds. Assistant District Attorney Vimi Bhatia investigated and prosecuted this case, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Michelle Shulman, Administrative Assistant District Attorney Jeannette Molina, and Senior Trial Counsel Michael Kitsis. Investigator Michael Wigdor of the District Attorney’s Investigation Bureau, and Paralegal Eunice Choi assisted in this investigation.

Defendant Information:

SHARMON WADE, 10/6/1973
175-20 Wexford Terrace
Jamaica, New York


* Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, 9 counts, a class C felony
* Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, 6 counts, a class D felony
* Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, 1 count, a class E felony
* Securities Fraud, 15 counts, a class E felony
* Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, 1 count, a class E felony
* Violation of Tax Law, 1 count, a class E felony

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.