Federal prosecutors: Man pleads guilty in fraudulent investment scheme, faces 20-year sentence


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NEWARK, New Jersey — A northern New Jersey man has admitted that he fraudulently obtained $500,000 by promising investors favorable returns on funds that would be used to finance educational television programming for teenagers.

Federal prosecutors say 77-year-old Peter Lareau of Mountain Lakes pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced Oct. 14.

Prosecutors say that between June 2008 and January 2010, Lareau created numerous entities for the purpose of soliciting investors. He recruited them through civic, religious and charitable organizations, as well as through alumni events at prestigious education institutions.

Instead of using the funds for educational programming or other business-related purposes, prosecutors say Lareau used the money for personal expenses including groceries, tuition payments for his child, rent payments and club memberships.

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