Harlem Restaurateur Gets 5 Years For Ponzi Scheme (Update)

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.

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