NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Federal authorities say a New Jersey man orchestrated a scheme that defrauded investors out of $4 million that he used to fund a lavish lifestyle that included a $1 million home and luxury cars.

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Nicholas Lattanzio of Montclair faces charges of wire fraud and securities fraud. He was arrested Wednesday at a West Orange residence and was to make a court appearance later in the day.

Prosecutors say the 58-year-old man operated the Black Diamond Capital Appreciation Fund.

They say that from June 2013 through November 2014, Lattanzio, his fund and other related entities collected millions of dollars in upfront fees from unsuspecting investors in exchange for the promise of future loans or investment opportunities that didn't materialize.

Instead of investing the victims' money and providing the loans as promised, Lattanzio allegedly stole the majority of the funds and used them for personal expenses. Authorities said some of the money also was used to buy expensive jewelry and pay off thousands of dollars in credit card debt.

Prosecutors say Lattanzio did not disclose this spending to his clients, but instead misled them into believing that their investments were safe.

Lattanzio's lawyer, Paul Doherty, was in court Wednesday and wasn't immediately available for comment.

Lattanzio could face up to 100 years in prison if convicted on all counts.


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