Colorado CEO and Fund Manager Admits to $11 Million Securities Fraud Scheme

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NEWARK, N.J. – A Denver, Colorado, CEO today admitted conducting a securities scheme to fraudulently obtain $11 million from investors through various misrepresentations about fund operations, his background, and his contribution to the fund, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Samuel J. Mancini, 55, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Cecchi in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of securities fraud.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

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 used OCP and OCP Italia to engage in the fraudulent scheme.

 From February 2020 through July 2021, 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. To induce investments, Mancini 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. OCP Italia never 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. 

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 and financial records. Mancini fraudulently obtained approximately $11 million from victims. 

The securities fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 17, 2022.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a civil complaint against Mancini based on the allegations underlying the securities fraud scheme to which Mancini pleaded guilty today.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and intelligence analysts of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the FBI Denver Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael H. Schneider, for its assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren E. Repole, Chief of the General Crimes Unit.