NY Daily News reports that a Harlem restaurateur who was once tight with NYPD higher-ups was sentenced Friday to five years in federal lockup for running a Ponzi scheme.
Hamlet Peralta, 38, pleaded guilty in May to a single wire fraud count for convincing investors to plunk $12 million in a bogus wholesale liquor distribution business.
But Peralta only used some $700,000 on booze, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office charged.
Under Peralta’s plea deal, prosecutors had recommended from 51-63 months behind bars.
Peralta could have faced up to 20 years in prison, the maximum sentence for one wire fraud count.
He is also required to pay more than $5 million in restitution to his victims.