NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man who forged the signature of New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon as part of a scheme that cheated investors out of $3.5 million has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
Michael Conway of Verona, New Jersey, entered the plea Thursday in Brooklyn federal court.
Authorities say he forged lease agreements with the Mets and others while asking investors to give him money to buy office equipment, then pocketed most of the money.
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Paperwork from Conway had Wilpon’s first name as “Jeffery” on forged Mets letterhead that purported to authorize a $1 million contract for leased office equipment, prosecutors said.
Starting in June 2014 through March, a hedge fund manager paid Conway $3.1 million after Conway produced paperwork showing he had leases with “58 companies, including law firms, universities, hospitals and hotels,” the complaint said. However, several of the leases “were fraudulent and based off forgeries.”
U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers says Conway could get up to 20 years in prison. He’ll also have to pay restitution as part of his plea agreement.
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