by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
UPDATE: According to the US Department of Justice, Michael Esposito was sentenced on July 25 to:
NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - Michael Esposito, 45, of North Caldwell, was charged today with one count of wire fraud. According to US Attorney Paul Fishman, Esposito was arrested today by FBI agents for "fraudulently using funds that he solicited for bulk medical supply and consumer goods transactions."
Esposito appeared this afternoon before US Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court and was released on bail.
According to the complaint, Esposito was the president of three companies - AME Consulting Group, AME Group, and AG Distributors - all of which purported to deal in buying consumer items in bulk from manufacturers for resale to both wholesalers and retailers.
It is alleged that Esposito used funds received electronically for "payments to apparent victim investors from prior transactions, restaurant bills, and salary for himself" rather than for the intended purpose of the transaction.
During a specific August 2013 incident, an individual known as "Victim 1" wired more than $1 million to Esposito for medical supplies and consumer goods transactions which were never received.
The charge of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
Fishman credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant US Attorney Andrew Kogan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark. Esposito is represented by Brooke M. Barnett Esq., of Newark.