An East Quogue man and his father pleaded guilty Friday to diverting money that they collected from several companies' debtors and using it for themselves, federal authorities said.
Peter Pinto, 37, of East Quogue and Richard Pinto of Wellington, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering, and one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill in Bridgeport, Conn, said prosecutors.
The pair were accused of executing a $10 million fraud scheme through their debt collection company, Oxford Collection Agency.
"These defendants carried out a significant fraud scheme through which they stole millions of dollars from their company's clients, lenders and investors," said David B. Fein, U.S. attorney for the district of Connecticut.
Prosecutors said that from January 2007 to March 2011, Richard Pinto served as the chairman of the board of Oxford Collection Agency, with Peter Pinto serving as president and chief executive.
Oxford collected debts on behalf of clients such as Washington Mutual Bank, Dell Financial Services, Cogent Communications and others, prosecutors said. But the collections were withheld by Oxford and used by the Pintos, prosecutors said.
The two are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 13. They face up to 35 years in prison and fines up to $20 million.