NEWARK, N.J. – A Denver, Colorado, CEO was arrested today in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain approximately $10 million from investors through various misrepresentations about fund operations and his background and contribution to the fund, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Samuel J. Mancini, 55, is charged by complaint with securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. He appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristin L. Mix in Denver federal court, and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond pending his initial appearance in the District of New Jersey.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From at least February 2020 through July 2021, Mancini orchestrated an investment fraud scheme and fraudulently obtained more than approximately $10 million from victims. Mancini managed and controlled Outdoor Capital Partners LLC (OCP), which he purported to be a venture capital and private equity firm. OCP served as the managing director of OCP Italia Fund LLC (OCP Italia), a private investment fund.
Mancini promised investors that he was raising $20 million, including $5 million of his own money, for OCP Italia to invest solely in acquiring controlling interests in three Italian cycling companies. Mancini represented to investors that the acquisitions would take place soon after the fund closed and promised investors approximately 70 percent of OCP Italia’s operating profits.
Mancini repeatedly misrepresented his finances and his contribution to OCP Italia. Mancini also misrepresented OCP Italia’s ability to close on the acquisitions. To date, OCP Italia has not acquired any of the Italian cycling companies. Instead, Mancini defaulted on contracts, diverted investor funds out of OCP Italia, and, in certain instances, paid investor funds to other investors seeking redemption.
Mancini also misled investors about his educational background by representing himself as a graduate of a prestigious military academy when, in fact, Mancini had failed to graduate from the academy due to an ethical violation, a fact he failed to disclose to investors.
When confronted with requests for transparency and redemptions by certain investors in OCP Italia, Mancini failed to honor the redemption requests, made misrepresentations about his inability to honor the redemption requests, misstated and omitted material facts, and provided certain investors with forged, modified, or otherwise fraudulent documentation.
The securities fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The count of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. The count of money laundering is punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark. She also thanked the FBI Denver Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael H. Schneider, for its assistance.
Additional victims of Mancini’s conduct may reach out to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or visit www.fbi.gov.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren E. Repole of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.