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Mancini asks court to schedule his sentencing hearing

Published February 15, 2024

NEWARK, N.J. (BRAIN) — Samuel Mancini, who pleaded guilty nearly two years ago to securities fraud in connection to a failed plan to buy up several legacy Italian cycling brands, is now asking the court to schedule his sentencing hearing. 

After being charged with multiple criminal counts of fraud, as well as civil charges in a separate case filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mancini pleaded guilty in April 2022 to a single count. Under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Mancini agreed to pay restitution to victims, although the exact terms of the restitution were not set at the plea hearing and are expected to be determined at the sentencing hearing. 

The hearing has been scheduled and re-scheduled several times since; currently there is no date on the calendar. Lawyers representing victims wrote to the court last year urging it to set a hearing.

On Wednesday, Mancini himself sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi, who is assigned to the case. Mancini made the filing pro se, that is without the assistance of his federal public defender. 

He said his public defender had coordinated a proposed sentencing date with prosecutors, but that date has yet to be set. He alluded to a status hearing he said was held in December, which he apparently did not attend regarding "a certain outstanding investment allegation." He requested that an additional status hearing be held between himself, the judge, prosecutors and his public defender, so that he could be updated on any outstanding issues and to set a hearing date. 

“I very well understand that this filing by me is out of the norm of typical procedures, however, as you can imagine and know from the letter filed by my attorney on my behalf, it is very important to me to stand up, own my actions and moreover to move things along. I do not believe any party to the case benefits by the ongoing uncertainty and delay,” Mancini wrote. 

He also wrote that he was aware that his public defender has an “unreasonable” caseload.

“While there may be an opportunity for this approach to be misconstrued, please do not interpret it in any way other than my trying to take responsibility to move things along albeit to the chagrin of others,” he wrote.

Mancini could face years in prison and be ordered to pay millions in restitution for defrauding investors in Outdoor Capital Partners, which raised as much as $11 million to acquire the Italian companies. None of the acquisitions were completed and some of the investors said they never got their money back.

Last fall, an attorney representing a group of investors from Colorado wrote the court urging that a sentencing hearing be scheduled and asking that the court release pre-sentencing materials that had been filed by the prosecution and defense. A month later, an attorney representing Catherine Anne Hennessy wrote the court urging that Mancini be sentenced. According to a declaration that Hennessy made to prosecutors, she invested $5 million with Mancini specifically to buy the De Rosa bike company, a purchase that was never completed. Prosecutors said Mancini used those funds in part to pay back other investors in a “Ponzi-like” scheme. 

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