Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of SHARMON WADE, 37, to nine to 18 years in prison for defrauding investors in a scam that involved fictitious real estate property investments. Judge Michael Obus granted the District Attorney’s request that WADE be considered a predicate felon for previous convictions, and ordered WADE to pay $1,242,623.13 in restitution to these victims. WADE pled guilty on May 17, 2010, to grand larceny, securities fraud, scheme to defraud, and a violation of tax law.

“This defendant took advantage of inexperienced investors to steal their life savings,” said District Attorney Vance. “Today’s sentence rightfully holds the defendant accountable for brazen lies and egregious actions that caused serious financial and psychological damage to his victims.”

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, and the purported investment opportunities were fictitious. 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 frauds and other forms of white-collar crime. Assistant District Attorney Vimi Bhatia investigated and prosecuted this case, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Richard Weber, Deputy Bureau Chief Micki Shulman Hendricks, Administrative Assistant District Attorney Jeannette Molina, and Senior Trial Counsel Michael Kitsis. Investigator Michael Wigdor of the District Attorney’s Investigation Bureau, Investigative Analyst Eunice Choi and Paralegal David Coit assisted in this investigation.

Defendant Information:

SHARMON WADE, 10/6/1973
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

• 8 to 19 years in prison
• Restitution of $1,242,623.13