N.J. AG says marketing company defrauded investors

Nick Rees Jul. 18, 2012, 5:40am


NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa filed a suit on Tuesday against a Haskell-based marketing company and three of its top executives alleging that they defrauded more than 50 investors of approximately $1.4 million.

Chiesa's six-count complaint, which was filed in conjunction with the New Jersey Bureau of Securities in State Superior Court in Paterson, names: Branded Marketing LLC, also known as 1800tarjets.com, and its successor company, Branded Marketing Inc., as well as President and CEO Richard Jackowitz of Warwick, N.Y.; Chief Marketing Officer Anthony Uva of Skillman, N.J.; and Manager of Investor Relations Patrick Gainey of Belle Mead, N.J.

Prospective investors were allegedly told by the defendants that Branded Marketing was launching a pre-paid debit card that had international calling features. The card would allegedly be marketed to Hispanic consumers who could not obtain a traditional credit card. The defendants allegedly raised at least $3 million from investors.

Instead of using the $3 million for legitimate business purposes as the defendants had represented to investors, however, Jackowitz instead allegedly used hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal use, including the purchase of a 28-foot boat, the installation of a home theater, and meals and gifts, among many other items, Chiesa claims.

Jackowitz also allegedly improperly diverted Branded Marketing and investor funds to IT Connect Inc., another company that Jackowitz allegedly owned and controlled that is named as a nominal defendant in the state's complaint.

Additionally, the defendants allegedly violated state law through the sale of unregistered securities and by acting as agents without registering. The defendants also allegedly made materially false or misleading statements and omissions of material facts to investors.

Chiesa's complaint seeks disgorgement of all profits, as well as restitution for investors, the imposition of civil penalties and to enjoin the defendants from working in the state's securities industry in any capacity.

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