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Long IslandCrime

Choice Office Solutions president stole Mets owner's identity in $3.5 million fraud scheme, FBI says

New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon,

New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, seen here in an undated photo, was one of the victims of a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme orchestrated by a New Jersey man arrested Wednesday by the FBI, officials said. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

A New Jersey man charged in federal court with running a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme used a forged office supplies contract with New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon to attract investments, authorities said Wednesday.

Neither the Mets nor Wilpon lost money, but their names were touted by Michael Conway, 39, of Verona, New Jersey, to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a news release from the Eastern District U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn.

Conway, president of Choice Office Solutions LLC, was charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme "where he forged lease agreements" to defraud both an individual investor and a finance company out of $3.5 million, prosecutors said in the news release.

Conway was scheduled to appear Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn.

Authorities said Conway convinced an investor he had a leasing agreement with the Mets and had the investor wire about $500,000 to his personal account -- "ostensibly to purchase office equipment" for the Mets, authorities said.

They said Conway "then used the same forged lease agreement, and a forged authorization letter from the New York Mets purportedly signed by Jeff Wilpon . . . to obtain financing." De Lage Landen Financial Solutions Partner, described on its website as "a global provider of leasing and finance solutions," wired Conway an additional $313,000.

Authorities said Conway also made fraudulent claims to other individual investors purporting to have deals with law firms, universities, hospitals and hotels.

If convicted, Conway faces at least 2 years in prison and up to 22 years.

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