After 13 years on the lam, a man who helped bilk investors of $1.4 million at a New Jersey investment firm pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges on Monday.
Douglas D'Arpino, 64, formerly of New York City, entered a guilty plea to cheating investors through an investment and insurance firm called Stackpole Designs Agency in River Edge, N.J. The firm was operated by D'Arpino and Steven Stackpole, 71, who was sentenced in 1998 to six years in prison in connection with the scheme.
D'Arpino had been living in Las Vegas under an assumed identity of Paul D. Martin. He approached law enforcement there about another matter and in the course of that investigation admitted his true identity and waived extradition to New Jersey, said Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for the New Jersey attorney general.
D'Arpino was apprehended in Las Vegas last June and returned to New Jersey where he was charged with a second degree crime of conspiring to defraud investors.
Prosecutors said D'Arpino and Stackpole promised 15% rate of returns to clients, who had retirement and investment accounts with the firm. The two collected $1.9 million from clients, and paid out $500,000. The remaining $1.4 million was stolen, according to the New Jersey attorney general's office.
Victims included several firefighter associations, it was reported.
Superior Court Judge Eugene H. Austin in Bergen County, N.J., took D'Arpino's plea and set sentencing for February. D'Arpino has to make restitution for $510,000, which represents the amount he stole from investors.
Stackpole's sentencing also involved repaying investors, but the attorney general's office did not know if that had been done, nor where Stackpole is now.
One of the schemes involved a contract Stackpole Designs had with a not-for-profit that collected money to publish information about missing children. The charity was supposed to get part of the money collected but received nothing, Aseltine said.