- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for a fraudulent investment scheme.

Peter Lareau also must pay $533,000 in restitution under the sentence imposed Tuesday. He had pleaded guilty last July to wire fraud.

Federal prosecutors say the 78-year-old Mountain Lakes man obtained $500,000 by promising investors favorable returns on funds that would be used to finance educational television programming for teenagers.

Prosecutors say that between June 2008 and January 2010, Lareau created numerous entities for the purpose of soliciting investors. He recruited them through civic, religious and charitable organizations, as well as through alumni events at prestigious education institutions.

Instead of using the funds for educational programming or other business-related purposes, Lareau used it for personal expenses including groceries, tuition payments for his child, rent payments and club memberships.

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