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Berlin Man Pleads Guilty to Investment Fraud and Tax Evasion Scheme

Federal court documents indicate that Frank Mete defrauded investors of more than $1.1 million over a four-year period.

Frank Mete of Berlin. (Credit: Manchester Police Department)
Frank Mete of Berlin. (Credit: Manchester Police Department)
A Berlin man has pleaded guilty to federal charges of investment fraud and tax evasion following an ongoing scheme he ran, posing as a broker and taking money from investors between 2009 and 2012 and defrauding them of over $1.1 million.

Frank Mete, 55, of 31 Concord Road in Berlin, appeared before a judge in the U.S. District Court in Hartford Wednesday, waiving his right to an indictment before entering the pleas.

Federal officials said Wednesday that the charges came following an investigation conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Unit.

“According to court documents and statements made in court, from approximately 2009 to November 2012, Mete operated an investment fraud scheme in which he held himself out as a broker of hard money loans between investors and purported individual borrowers who were willing to borrow money at interest rates of 15 to 18 percent,” said Tom Carson of the U.S. Department of Justice. 

“In fact, there were no such borrowers. In order to induce the investors to extend loans to the purported borrowers through him as the broker, Mete created false promissory notes, mortgage documents and other false records using the names of the fictitious borrowers,” he said.

After receiving from the victim investors checks that were made out to the purported borrowers, he forged the signatures on the checks and deposited the funds into several bank accounts he opened in the borrowers’ names, according to court documents.

Officials said over the four-year period, Mete was able to defraud investors of approximately $1.19 million and used the money to pay for various personal expenses.

In addition, court documents indicated that Mete failed to report income from tax returns over the same time period and caused losses of $357,000 in tax income.

Mete pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of tax evasion, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. No sentencing date has been scheduled, officials said.

The Berlin resident has remained in state custody since his Nov. 8 arrest in Manchester, where police said he posed as an undercover Manchester police officer working "vice stings" and accosted a woman. Mete is facing charges including multiple counts of first-degree sexual assault, first-degree robbery, unlawful restraint, sixth-degree larceny and impersonating a police officer.

He is being held on a $500,000 bond, according to court records. He has not entered pleas in that case.

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