BERLIN — A local man accused of running a fraud scheme that bilked investors out of almost $2 million pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court.
Frank Mete, 55, pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and tax evasion in U.S. District Court in Hartford.
The penalty for the fraud charge is up to 20 years in prison, and the tax evasion carries a maximum of five years.
Deirdre Daly, acting U.S. attorney for Connecticut, said that from 2009 to November 2012 Mete operated an investment fraud scheme. Mete “held himself out as a broker of hard money loans” between investors and borrowers at interest rates between 15 and 18 percent, Daly said. Mete created false promissory notes, mortgage documents and other false records in names of fictitious borrowers. After an investor gave Mete a check with a false borrower name on it, Mete would forge signatures and deposited the funds into several bank accounts.
Mete defrauded investors of $1,191,610 and used the money for personal expenses, Daly said. In addition, Mete did not file tax returns from 2009 to 2012, causing a total tax loss to the government of $357,324.
The sentencing date has not been scheduled. Mete has been in custody on unrelated charges since Nov. 8.
— Lauren Sievert