New York Mets forgery defendant gets four years prison

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By Jonathan Stempel | NEW YORK

NEW YORK A New Jersey man who pleaded guilty to
forging signatures of New York Mets baseball officials,
including Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Wilpon, in an office
leasing equipment scam was sentenced on Wednesday to four years
in prison.

Michael Conway, 41, of Verona, was sentenced by U.S.
District Judge William Kuntz in Brooklyn, New York, 11 months
after pleading guilty to wire fraud for a scheme that according
to prosecutors ran from March 2014 to August 2015.

The prison term is within the 41- to 51-month range that
prosecutors sought, and in line with recommended federal

Kuntz also ordered Conway to pay $3.56 million of
restitution to hedge fund investor David Rich and $1.2 million
to DLL Financial Solutions of Wayne, Pennsylvania, which
according to court papers unwittingly financed Conway’s fraud.

Sean Haran, a lawyer for Conway, declined to comment.

The identity of Rich was revealed in court papers this week.
Rich not immediately be reached for comment.

Prosecutors said Conway forged and inflated terms of leasing
agreements for his company Choice Office Solutions LLC, which
bought equipment such as copiers and scanners and leased them to
clients, to attract financing.

Conway fraudulently claimed to have leases with about 58
companies including hospitals, hotels, law firms and
universities, and pocketed much of the money he raised from
Rich, prosecutors said.

While Conway did business with the Mets, prosecutors said he
once sent a letter that appeared to be from Wilpon and
authorized a Mets vice president to enter up to $1 million of
contracts, but misspelled Wilpon’s first name as “Jeffery.”

The case is U.S. v. Conway, U.S. District Court, Eastern
District of New York, No. 16-cr-00052.

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