Three alleged accomplices in Alberta, Canada-based Front Row Tickets, which stands at the center of a suspected fraudulent stock case, were recently arrested on fraud and other charges by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), as the investigation into the multi-million alleged “Ponzi scheme” widened.
Anthony Pittarelli, his sister Claudia Pitarelli, and their mother Marisa Campanelli-Pittarelli have been charged with various counts of fraud, theft and money laundering for their part in the alleged $15 million scam where hundreds of investors were bilked. These specific charges are in relation to one investor who was allegedly scammed out of more than half a million dollars.
Front Row Tickets owner Jason Hunt allegedly raised money with help from the Pittarellis by selling fraudulent stock securities. Last year, Hunt and the company were fined several hundred thousand dollars by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), and Hunt was banned from buying or selling securities in the province for 10 years.
At the time the fines were issued, ASC stopped short of technically calling the case a scam because for a time it was believed the company was paying investors from the proceeds of resold tickets. But, the RCMP said that was not true because old investors allegedly were being paid by new ones the company attracted.
The investigation into the fraud is ongoing. “We don’t consider this to be an isolated incident,” Acting RCMP Inspector Gord Sereda told the Calgary Herald.
Anthony Pittarelli is believed to have been a principal in Front Row Tickets because he was not only involved in day-to-day operations, but he also accepted money from investors and signed various paperwork concerning the fraudulent securities.
According to the Herald, Anthony Pittarelli allegedly has no experience or background in securities trading.
In addition to allegedly bilking investors, the suspects are believed to have used portions of the ill-gotten gains for their own benefit.
The ASC said last winter: “Some portion (we do not know how much) of that $15 million was returned to investors during the time Front Row carried out its securities-related activities and operations. However, some Front Row investors did not — and may never — receive a return of their principal, the promised interest or both.”
The RCMP has set up a phone line for people from the U.S. and Western Canada who believe they may have been a victim of Front Row Tickets can call to report their case: (403) 292-8673.
Last Updated on July 14, 2011