A Michigan man who agreed to solicit investors for a "GetMoni" venture only after he learned it was a Ponzi scheme was sentenced to serve more than six years in federal prison. John James Missitti, of Genesee Township, Michigan, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith after previously pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of filing a false tax return. Missitti was also ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Missitti was originally an investor in GetMoni.com, which promised above-average returns through several ventures, including (1) making loans to building contractors; (2) providing loans for air conditioning contracts; and (3) extracting gold and silver from mines. However, Missitti soon learned that the venture was a Ponzi scheme, but instead of going to authorities worked out an arrangement with the principals, Ronald and Bonnie Brito, to receive commissions for soliciting new investors to the scam.
Missitti then began soliciting investors by holding seminars, even passing around a silver bar to investors that supposedly was produced from one of the mines. At these seminars, potential investors were told that they could expect annual returns of up to 100%. Missitti would ultimately be responsible for bringing more than 100 investors into GetMoni.com who suffered total losses of approximately $4.5 million. For his role, Missitti received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses and commissions.
The case against the Britos and several other defendants remains ongoing.
A cease-and-desist order filed by Michigan is here.