HILLSBOROUGH: Former financial advisor indicted for alleged ponzi scheme that targeted the elderly

A 48-year-old Hillsborough man was taken into custody Wednesday on charges related to an alleged investment fraud scheme that specifically targeted elderly investors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Daniel Rivera was indicted on three counts of wire fraud by a federal grand jury on July 31.

According to the indictment filed by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, Rivera allegedly solicited elderly investors from 2008 to 2017 with an opportunity to back a company called Robbins Lane Properties, Inc.

During that time, Rivera allegedly told investors that the company employed real estate professionals who would use their investments to fund real estate ventures. Specifically, officials said he told potential investors that they were investing in Robbins Lane and that they would share in the company’s investment portfolio.

Rivera also allegedly promised investors that they would receive a monthly income and that the rate of return would be based on “secure real estate investments in the company’s portfolio,” according to the indictment.

An investigation into Robbins Lane, however, showed officials that the company employed no one and that its real estate portfolio did not exist. Investigators also allege that Rivera would pay investors their purported return on investments from money he received from the other investors.

Investigators allege that Rivera also used the investors’ funds to pay his personal and unrelated business expenses, including his child’s college tuition and sorority fees.

If found guilty, the charges of wire fraud against Rivera each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross loss or gain caused by the offense.

Following Rivera’s arrest, Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, and special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bryant Jackson, with the investigation leading to the indictment.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Aquila Govan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Cybercrimes Unit in Newark.