Forte admits to $80M Ponzi scheme

June 5, 2009 12:40:57 PM PDT
A suburban Philadelphia fund manager has pleaded guilty to operating an $80 million Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors say 53-year-old Joseph Forte lured investors by promising returns ranging from 18 to 38 percent - and pledging they would suffer no losses.

But losses are exactly what happened over time as Forte paid himself millions, bought a Sea Isle, N.J., beach house and donated more than $1 million to charity.

Investigators say he blew through more than $20 million from 1996 to 2008. Forte himself says all the money is gone.

Forte, a 1978 graduate of Villanova University, lives in Broomall with his wife and four children.

He will be sentenced Oct. 2 on three federal fraud counts and money laundering.

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