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Director of Cycling Fund Arrested, Charged with Fraud

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Samuel J. Mancini is the managing director of a Denver, Colorado-based fund that had plans to acquire iconic global brands De Rosa, De Marchi and Limar.

But Mancini was arrested in Denver late July and faces US federal securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering charges.

According to civil and criminal complaints, Mancini’s company, Outdoor Capital Partners, raised over US$11 million (A$15.2 million) from about 40 investors in a plan to acquire De Rosa Cycles, De Marchi Apparel and Limar Helmets.

After it couldn’t complete a deal to acquire De Marchi, in late 2020 the fund set its sights on acquiring Gruppo Srl, the parent of Cinelli and Columbus. As we recently reported, a Texas-based group has since announced it had acquired Gruppo Srl.

None of the Outdoor Capital Partners acquisitions have been completed and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey said Mancini and OCP misappropriated about US$400,000 (A$555,000) of investor money and made US$800,000 (A$1.1million) in ‘Ponzi-like’ payments to investors.

Mancini, 55, was arrested in Denver and released on $100,000 bail pending his first appearance in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

The SEC’s civil case could lead to the recovery of funds, penalties and interest, and also could result in Mancini being barred from selling securities or serving as an officer of a public company. The criminal case could result in up to 20 years in prison for each of the securities fraud and wire fraud charges, and up to 10 years in prison on the money laundering charge, plus financial penalties.

Investor communications contained in court files indicate that OCP planned to pay about 3.2 million euros (A$5.3 million) for Limar, 9.5 million euros (A$15.8 million) for De Rosa and 3.6 million euros (A$6 million) for Gruppo SRL. According to an update email that Mancini sent to the investor group last November and contained in the documents the SEC has filed with the court, OCP had agreed to pay 1 million euros (A$1.66 million) for a 70% share in De Marchi. However, according to Mancini’s communication to the investors, De Marchi’s owners then changed course and said they would sell 100% of the company for 3.5 million euros (A$5.8 million), which Mancini said he would not agree to.

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