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March 4th is a big day for Par Funding investors


A long-awaited day is almost here for investors of Par Funding as they will learn the plan for getting their money back. For some of the over 1700 investors who gave more than $550 million total over the years, that may not be much at all as they were rejected by the receiver initially and only upon appeal do they have a chance to recover their investment. That is to be determined during a lawyer's conference at 10 AM Monday, March 4th on video conference between all relevant parties including the receiver for Par Funding, who has been scouring the Earth for the money that Par owners bilked from investors, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.


So far the receiver has collected over $175 million in cash and assets including multiple properties of Joseph Laforte, owner of Par Funding. He, his wife, Lisa McElhone and financial officer Joseph Cole Barlet have been sued by the SEC on civil fraud charges. They decided not to contest the actual charges, but the amount the Judge said he owed of $200 million is being contested.


The receiver still hopes to recover "as much as $60 million owed to Par by borrowers (business owners). The receiver has been writing down the value of these potential assets, as many of the loans have proven to be uncollectible because the borrowers have gone out of business."


 

As this conference is about to take place, new RICO charges were filed against "Joseph LaForte, Joseph Cole Barleta (“Joe Cole”), and James LaForte", per a DOJ press release.


"According to the second superseding indictment, codefendants Joseph LaForte, Joe Cole, and James LaForte, and others, were part of an association-in-fact RICO enterprise that conspired to commit several predicate crimes, including crimes related to the fleecing of Par Funding’s many investors and the extortionate collection of credit from Par Funding’s many merchant-customers."


The press release goes on to say:

"The indictment alleges that the principal purposes of the LaForte Enterprise were as follows:

  1. to generate money for its leadership, members, and associates through the commission of various criminal acts, such as securities fraud, wire fraud, the extortionate collection of debt, obstruction of justice, and retaliation;

  2. to conceal from investors, auditors, the government, and law enforcement that its members were self-dealing and enriching themselves to the detriment of Par Funding’s investors;

  3. to conceal Joseph LaForte’s identity, criminal history, and role as the leader of the enterprise and the functional Chief Executive Officer of Par Funding from Par Funding’s investors, customers, and auditors, and from the government and law enforcement, including through misrepresentations, false statements, and other means;

  4. to use extortionate means, including threats of violence, to collect money owed to Par Funding by its merchant-customers;

  5. to maintain control over Par Funding after Par Funding was put under the control of a court-appointed receiver, including by acts of obstruction and retaliation intended to frustrate and interfere with the receiver’s efforts to control Par Funding; and

  6. to protect the enterprise and its members from detection, apprehension, and prosecution by law enforcement."


If found guilty on all charges, the defendants are looking at decades or more of imprisonment. On top of that, they also face full restitution, a fine, and a period of supervised release and/or probation.

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