Prison time, restitution in motorcycle ponzi scheme

Publish Date: 
Mar 13, 2014

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A former Palm Coast man has been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay millions of dollars to people he involved in what a prosecutor described as a Ponzi scheme involving exotic cars and motorcycles.

Anthony Robert Fregenti Jr., 42, was sentenced March 12 in Flager County court to five years in prison followed by 20 years of probation for charges including securities and investment fraud, according to the St. Augustine Record.

Fregenti asked investors for funds to buy exotic cars and motorcycles that he told them would bring a large return at resale, prosecutor Jennifer Dunton said. Fregenti told victims the vehicles and motorcycles were being shipped to unidentified buyers, including a Saudi Arabian prince who doesn’t exist. Those “buyers” would pay the rest of the cost, he told investors. Money that investors received back came from future investors.

Fregenti pleaded guilty in September as part of a plea agreement to multiple counts of sale of securities by an unregistered dealer and sale of unregistered securities and one count of securities and investment fraud. Part of his restitution, $300,000, had to be paid in three installments before his sentencing date. The last payment of that $300,000 came late during the sentencing hearing. After his release from prison, Fregenti must pay $100,000 per year toward more than $3 million in restitution, according to a news release from the State Attorney’s Office.

Victims said they were left devastated by the scam. A St. Augustine man said he and his wife lost more than $100,000.

Posted by Holly Wagner