Feds accuse Morristown man in debt relief scam they say bilked millions from small businesses

Photo: justice.gov/usao-nj


Federal authorities say Mark Csantaveri, 51, of Morristown, was part of a scheme that defrauded more than 50 small businesses of more than $3.4 million between March 2018 through and December 2023.

Charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Csantaveri appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel in Newark federal court and was detained.

Working with a co-conspirator in Morristown and another in Lake Hopatcong, Csantaveri had promised to settle victims’ debts in exchange for regular payments, according to U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger.

Instead, the schemers pocketed the money, and spent $1.3 million of it at casinos in New Jersey and elsewhere, according to the federal complaint.

One victim, a restaurant in College Park, MD, entered an agreement with Csantaveri to help reduce $200,000 in debt incurred during the pandemic. The victim paid Csantaveri’s firm $149,400 over nearly two years until discovering, after hearing many excuses and misrepresentations, that Csantaveri never contacted the victim’s creditor as promised, the statement contends.

Other alleged victims include a manufacturing company in Dayton, Ohio, and an auto body shop in Clinton Township, Mich.

Authorities say the alleged conspirators operated three businesss: MCA Cure LLC and LDMS Group LLC, both registered in Parsippany; and Evergreen Settlement Group LLC, registered in Rockaway, according to federal authorities.

Upon conviction, penalties for conspiracy to commit wire fraud are up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss involved in the offense, whichever is greatest.

The FBI’s Newark office investigated the case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Webman.  Assistant Federal Public Defender Claressa Lowe represents Csantaveri.

Below is the official statement.

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office:


A Morris County, New Jersey, man was charged today in a scheme that defrauded victims of over $3.4 million dollars, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Mark Csantaveri, 51, of Morristown, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He made an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel in Newark federal court and was detained.

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

Csantaveri and his conspirators operated businesses that purported to provide small businesses with debt relief services. Csantaveri induced victims to make regular payments to one of Csantaveri’s businesses by falsely claiming that he would hold their money while negotiating favorable settlements with the victims’ creditors.

Instead of using victim funds as promised, Csantaveri and his conspirators misappropriated the victims’ money for their personal use, including over $1 million in gambling expenses. Csantaveri’s scheme ultimately defrauded more than 50 victims of more than $3.4 million dollars.

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss involved in the offense, whichever is greatest.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Webman of the of the Criminal Division in Newark.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: Claressa Lowe Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender

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