Jan. 12—A Delaware County man was one of two defendants sentenced to a term in prison in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme.
New York Attorney General Letitia James and state Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Amanda Hiller announced the sentencings of Carl Carro, 61, of Delaware County and James Doyle, 74, of Westchester County for operating a nearly decade-long Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of more than $1 million.
According to a media release, Carro pled guilty last October to second-degree money laundering, a class C felony; securities fraud, a class E felony; first-degree scheme to defraud, a class E felony; and repeated failure to file personal income tax returns, a class E felony.
Doyle pled guilty in July 2021 to second-degree money laundering, a class C felony; and first-degree scheme to defraud, a class E felony.
Carro was sentenced to 4 to 8 years in prison and Doyle was sentenced to five years' probation, according to the release. As part of their respective sentences, Carro and Doyle agreed to pay more than $1 million in judgments to the victims of their scheme.
"New Yorkers deserve the peace of mind of knowing that when they invest their hard-earned money, it won't be stolen by shameless fraudsters," James said in the release. "For nearly a decade, Carl Carro and James Doyle pocketed more than $1 million dollars from investors who trusted them with their funds. I thank the Department of Taxation and Finance and Acting Commissioner Hiller for their critical support in our efforts to bring these bad actors to justice. My office will always work to protect the interests of New Yorkers and ensure anyone seeking to take advantage or violate state laws is held accountable."
"These are not victimless crimes," Hiller said. "Anyone who attempts to defraud New Yorkers also deprives the state of tax revenue used for vital public programs and services and must be held accountable."
Carro and Doyle were arrested in January 2021 and charged with multiple crimes for their roles in the Ponzi scheme, the release said. Last May, Carro was charged for failing to pay more than $75,000 in state taxes over a six-year period.
As outlined in the complaints, Carro and Doyle solicited investments in their companies, Endeavor Management Solutions and Endeavor Consultancy, from more than 50 individuals in New York and other states between January 2012 and December 2020. Carro and Doyle misrepresented to investors that Endeavor was a headhunting firm hired by prestigious clients to find candidates for openings on their boards of directors, the release said. "They first lured investors with false promises of interviews for board positions and then offered purported no-risk investment opportunities in their firm. The two defendants promised their victims that investments would be held in an untouched cash reserve fund that allegedly held over $1 million and guaranteed a 10 to 20 percent return on investment after 30 days," according to the release.
An audit revealed that investor funds were used for personal expenses and to pay back previously defrauded investors. According to the audit, the defendants spent nearly $500,000 on cash withdrawals, more than $200,000 to pay personal credit card bills, more than $57,000 on pet expenses, and more than $350,000 to pay previously defrauded investors. Altogether, Carro and Doyle stole between $15,000 and $30,000 from each of the more than 50 victims, with total losses exceeding $1 million, according to the release. "The overwhelming majority of the stolen funds were diverted for Carro's personal benefit, including over $170,000 in restitution to pay the victims of Carro's prior criminal cases," the release said. "The audit also revealed that Carro failed to report over $2 million in taxable income, which included the amount he stole from victims, and failed to remit more than $100,000 in taxes owed to New York state since at least 2012."
The Delaware County District Attorney's Office and the Otsego County District Attorney's Office were among the agencies involved in the investigation.