Platkin Announces Five Charged in Alleged Internet Fraud





TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced charges against five individuals in connection with an Internet fraud involving the sale of aircraft equipment and replacement parts.

Between the dates of February 3, 2017 and March 28, 2022, the defendants allegedly participated in a conspiracy to defraud business entities by pretending to sell specialized equipment, including airline ground support equipment (GSE) and hydraulic jacks.

Shortly after payments for purchased equipment arrived in bank accounts, the defendants allegedly removed the funds through a series of cash withdrawals or transfers to the account of another identified co-conspirator. However, the victims never received the equipment or a refund. The defendants allegedly obtained more than $1 million through fraudulent means from companies operating in the United States and internationally.

The following suspects were arrested on March 31, 2022 and charged with the aforementioned offences:

  • 2nd degree conspiracy
  • 2nd degree theft by deception
  • 2nd degree receipt of stolen property
  • 2nd degree money laundering

Sonny Signo, 54, from Elizabeth, NJ

  • 2nd degree conspiracy
  • 2nd degree receipt of stolen property

Eddie S. Signo, 28, from Iselin, NJ

  • 2nd degree conspiracy
  • 2nd degree receipt of stolen property

Champagne Thompson, 29, from Iselin, NJ

  • 2nd degree conspiracy
  • 3rd degree receiving stolen property

co-defendant Cindy K. Drake, 36, of Somerset, NJ was charged on a subpoena for second-degree receipt of stolen goods in connection with the internet settlement.

Antonio Signo is being held in Somerset County Jail pending trial. All others were released.

The charges are the result of an investigation opened by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber ​​Crimes Bureau after it received a referral from the Scottsdale, Arizona Police Department.

Deputy Attorney General Derek Miller is chief prosecutor in the case for the Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber ​​Crimes Bureau Division, overseen by Deputy Chief Mark Kurzawa. The investigation was conducted in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations-Newark Field Office, led by Special Commander Jason J. Molina.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The charges are only accusations and the suspects are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Criminal Justice Department Tip Line at: 866-847-7425

Defense attorneys:

For A. Sign: Alfonse De Meo, Esq., Verona, NJ

For S. Signo: P. Joseph Nicola, Esq., Haddonfield, NJ

For other defendants: Indefinite.




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