A Manalapan resident promised 10 alleged victims that their money would be responsibly invested, then coerced them to reinvest by providing them with inaccurate or false gains figures according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, which announced the man's arrest Tuesday.

The release from the prosecutor's office said Jeffrey Loretta, 60, spent more than $175,000 of the investment money on himself and lost nearly $200,000 in bad investments, out of more than $500,000 the victims entrusted him with between January 2020 and February 2021.

Regarding the money spent on himself, Loretta is accused of making ATM withdrawals of several thousand dollars at a time, and writing checks out to himself payable in cash.

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Loretta is charged with one count of second-degree theft and 10 total counts of misapplication of entrusted property, three in the second degree and seven in the third degree.

He turned himself in on Friday, according to the prosecutor's office, and was released pending an initial appearance in Monmouth County Superior Court.

A conviction on one of the second-degree crimes would mean a prison term of up to 10 years.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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