Accountant Accused in Scam
An accountant was accused Friday of creating phony personal and corporate tax records for a now-defunct Irvine firm that bilked investors, including several celebrities, out of an estimated $45 million.
Stephen A. Ceparano, 62, of Northport, N.Y., was charged by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles with conspiracy and fraud.
The fabricated records were used by DFJ Italia Ltd. to lure investors, including former football stars Eric Dickerson and Duval Love and fashion model Kim Alexis, into investing in what authorities described as a classic Ponzi scheme.
DFJ promised high returns on investments in foreign currencies. The company’s founder, Luigi DiFonzo, who posed as an Italian nobleman, died of a prescription drug overdose two years ago as authorities were moving to seize his $4-million Laguna Niguel house.