Photo: Global Newswire
He allegedly lied to investors about owning shares in some hot tech companies, missed his flight and delayed his hearing. He even caused mass confusion once he made it to court, but a judge still wasn’t ready to accept his plea.John Mattera is accused of defrauding investors out of $11 million by claiming he could get clients shares in big-name companies like Facebook and Groupon before they went public.
The only problem? He didn’t actually own shares in the companies and used his ill-gotten gains to fund “his own extravagant lifestyle,” according to prosecutors.
He was formally charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.
But the real drama didn’t start until Mattera’s hearing in a New York court, The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reported Tuesday.
Mattera initially missed his flight and had to push back the proceeding. Once he got to court, he told Judge Richard Sullivan he didn’t actually know he had obtained the money illegally.
“If I carry a suitcase, and I didn’t know what was in it, and I later learn it contained two kilos of coke, that’s not a crime,” said an increasingly frustrated Judge Sullivan, who continued to press Mr. Mattera.
“I wanted to set up accounts that were overseas and not reported to the government,” Mr. Mattera said.
“That sounds like a tax fraud scheme,” said the judge.
That confusion continued for a while before attorneys asked for a break to address the issues.
“I think I’m being pretty indulgent,” an irritated Sullivan said. “We were supposed to do this yesterday for crying out loud.”
The judge ultimately accepted Mattera’s guilty pleas for securities fraud and wire fraud but still needs to review the court transcripts before agreeing to a money laundering plea, according to Law Blog.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.