Adviser Pleads Guilty in $7 Million Ponzi Scheme

   MICHIGAN - 4/21/2011 - Dante DeMiro, 43, of Milford, pled guilty on April 19 to five counts of bank and wire fraud, United States Attorney Barbara McQuade has announced. Sentencing is scheduled for July 12 at 10 a.m. before the Honorable Lawrence P. Zatkoff in Port Huron, Mich.
   According to court documents, DeMiro was an investment adviser to various municipalities, credit unions, school districts, and trade unions through his Southfield-based companies MuniVest Financial Group and MuniVest Services LLC.
   From August 2007 to September 2010, DeMiro used the MuniVest entities to operate a bank and wire fraud Ponzi scheme. DeMiro falsely promised investor clients that he would invest their funds in various certificates of deposit. He did not invest their funds as promised, but instead, used their funds to purchase personal items and real property, to gamble, to make payments to other investors in the same scheme, and to make loans to several individuals and a local jewelry store.
   DeMiro stipulated that the loss caused by his fraud exceeds $7 million, and that he abused a position of trust in his fiduciary capacity as an investment adviser.
   “We have seen more and more of these investment schemes, which prey upon school districts, municipalities, and unions,” McQuade said. “Our hope is that cases like this one will deter other investment advisers from stealing from these vulnerable investors.”
    The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Shaw. Joining in the announcement was Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
    “Today's swindlers artfully conceal their greed with sophisticated marketing and numerous misrepresentations. Investors and pension plan participants must remain diligent in following their money,” Arena stated.
   Source: U.S. Department of Justice release.