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Water-Park Promoter Charged With Fraud

MANHATTAN (CN) - A woman has been charged with bilking investors for more than $1 million by promising to use their money to build a water park for foster children, prosecutors claim in Federal Court. Authorities say Liliana Trafficante, 43, used the money to pay her living expenses and to repay early investors.

Trafficante allegedly advertised herself on Craigslist as the CEO of International Dreams. Prosecutors say she has been duping investors since 2005 by claiming their contributions would pay for lawyers for the water park project or would be used to buy land that "was rich with natural resources."

"Individuals who make false representations of charitable intentions will be held accountable for their actions," said George Venizelos, the acting assistant director-in-charge of the FBI in New York. "Those who donated money in the hopes of funding the water park project for foster children were betrayed, along with the children of the community who could have benefitted from the generous contributions of others."

Trafficante faces a 25-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the wire fraud and conspiracy charges against her.

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