Suspect in pyramid scheme pleads guilty to felony theft

Thomas Salzano
Thomas Salzano

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Thomas Salzano, of New Jersey, has pleaded guilty to five counts of felony theft and has agreed to pay restitution in Calcasieu Parish.

He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and must also reimburse the District Attorney's Office for the cost of prosecution.

Salzano is charged with multiple counts of money laundering, conspiracy and felony theft, allegedly defrauding five local businesses out of $100,000. He previously pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in 2009.

This case made Louisiana the first state to pursue criminal charges in an alleged pyramid-type scheme that defrauded over 11,000 businesses around the country of more than $300 million, authorities said.

The case is being jointly prosecuted by the Louisiana Attorney General and the Calcasieu Parish District.

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