|NEWARK – State Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Moore, presiding in Newark, yesterday granted the State’s request to freeze the assets of, and appoint a receiver over, defendants George J. Bussanich, George Bussanich, and Metropolitan Ambulatory Surgical Center, LLC, and also the nominal defendants named in the State’s previously filed lawsuit.
The Division of Law on behalf of the Bureau of Securities last week filed suit against defendants George J. Bussanich, 55, of Park Ridge and his son, George Bussanich, 34, of Upper Saddle River, alleging that they defrauded 26 New Jersey investors out of $3.5 million through the sale of unregistered notes. They allegedly used investor funds for their own personal enrichment. Various family members who allegedly received funds from George J. Bussanich are named as nominal defendants.
The misused investor 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.
“We’re pleased that Judge Moore granted our motion to immediately take control of the assets and financial records of the defendants,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “Their misuse of investor funds stops here and now.”
The defendants opposed the asset freeze and appointment of the receiver. Judge Moore set a Feb. 14 court date for further proceedings on the State’s filed lawsuit.
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.
“Securities that claim high rates of yield should always be viewed with caution, and investors need to perform their due diligence,” said Amy G. Kopleton, Acting Chief of the Bureau of Securities. “We can tell investors when a security has been registered or granted an exemption before they decide how to invest their hard-earned dollars.”
Rudolph G. Bassman, Chief of Enforcement, and Senior 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, also is 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.