|NEWARK – The Division of Law on behalf of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities has filed suit and the Bureau Chief concurrently has taken administrative action against a father and son and their company, alleging they defrauded 26 New Jersey investors out of $3.5 million through the sale of unregistered notes.
George J. Bussanich, 55, of Park Ridge and his son, George Bussanich, 34, of Upper Saddle River, allegedly used the investor funds for their own personal enrichment. George J. Bussanich also provided funds to various family members as well. The funds were used to purchase three homes and exotic vehicles including two Maseratis and a Ferrari, among other items and personal expenses.
Investors allegedly were told that the money would be used for Metropolitan Ambulatory Surgical Center, LLC and George J. Bussanich’s other companies. Contrary to its name, Metropolitan Ambulatory Surgical Center, LLC, which has a Cliffside Park business address, is not a surgical center but rather a holding company controlled by George J. Bussanich. The investors purchased notes which carried a 6% to 8% annual rate of return.
The State’s lawsuit, filed in State Superior Court in Newark, names the Bussanichs and the business as defendants, with various Bussanich family members who received investor funds for their personal use as nominal defendants. The lawsuit alleges that multiple violations of the anti-fraud and registration provisions of the state’s Uniform Securities Law were committed.
“This was not a legitimate investment gone bad but a scam by the defendants to line their pockets and live the high life,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "They, like other similarly situated defendants, will now pay the price for living the high life on the backs of defrauded investors."
An Order to Show Cause was also filed with the Court, which asked the Court to immediately freeze the assets of the defendants and nominal defendants; appoint a receiver to take title to and possession of the property of the defendants and nominal defendants; and, among other things, review all financial books and records.
Additionally, the Acting Bureau Chief issued a Summary Order which revoked the agent registration of George Bussanich and prevents both Bussanichs and the Metropolitan Ambulatory Surgical Center from utilizing the exemptions available from registration under the state’s Securities Law.
George Bussanich previously worked for an investment firm that fired him when it discovered his unreported outside activities, including the sale of the unregistered securities at issue in the State’s case. A self-regulatory organization earlier this month barred George Bussanich from associating with any of its members in any capacity.
“Our Bureau of Securities is on the front lines in fighting investor fraud in New Jersey,” said Eric T. Kanefsky, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Financial fraud may be non-violent but it is harmful conduct, as some investors in this matter have hundreds of thousands of dollars at risk.”
The Bureau has an in-house team of investigators, while the Division of Law has attorneys in the Securities Fraud Prosecution Section that focus on Securities Law violations.
“We’re a resource that investors should use when performing their due diligence. We can tell an investor when the person they are dealing with, as well as the security itself, are registered with the Bureau or have been granted a registration exemption, as legally required,” said Amy G. Kopleton, Acting Chief of the Bureau of Securities. ‘We want the public to know the red flags of potential investment fraud, so they can avoid being a victim.”
Rudolph G. Bassman, Chief of Enforcement, and Supervising Investigator Peter Cole conducted the investigation on behalf of the Bureau. Deputy Attorneys General Stacy-Ann T. Davy , Victoria Manning and Isabella Stempler of the of the Securities Fraud Prosecution Section in the Division of Law are representing the Bureau. Mehnaz Rahim, Volunteer Attorney in the Division of Law, is also assisting with the case.
The Bureau can be contacted toll-free within New Jersey at 1-866-I-INVEST (1-866-446-8378) or from outside New Jersey at 973-504-3600. The public is encouraged to visit the Bureau's web site at www.njsecurities.gov.