NEWARK, N.J. — A husband and wife from New Jersey have been charged with running what federal prosecutors described as a Ponzi scheme.
Federal prosecutors said Friday that Alcibiades Cifuentes and Jennifer Wee Cifuentes, of West New York, defrauded about 20 people out of $500,000.
A lawyer for Wee Cifuentes says they will “vigorously defend” against the charges. A lawyer for her husband didn’t return a message seeking comment.
Prosecutors say they used the money to buy themselves things, including a luxury car and jewelry. Investigators say they also used new money from those they defrauded to pay back other investors through their Cifuentes Fund Management hedge fund.
Prosecutors say the scheme ran from 2012 through March 2015.
They were charged with wire fraud, conspiracy, and stealing funds intended for investment in commodities.