Director of cycling investment fund arrested, billed with securities fraud

Editor’s notice: This story has been up to date with remarks from the CEO of De Marchi about OCP’s endeavor to purchase that model.

DENVER (Mind) — Samuel J. Mancini, the controlling director of a Denver-based mostly fund that had ideas to spend in cycling organizations, was arrested in Denver very last 7 days and faces federal securities fraud, wire fraud and income laundering rates.

According to civil and legal issues, Mancini’s firm, Out of doors Capital Partners, elevated around $11 million from about 40 buyers in a system to purchase De Rosa Cycles, De Marchi Clothing and Limar Helmets. After it could not entire a offer to purchase De Marchi, in late 2020 the fund established its sights on buying Gruppo Srl, the parent of Cinelli and Columbus. (A Texas-dependent group introduced this thirty day period that it had acquired Gruppo Srl.)

None of the acquisitions have been finished and the Securities and Trade Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office environment for New Jersey reported Mancini and OCP misappropriated about $400,000 of investor money and designed $800,000 in “Ponzi-like” payments to investors.

Final 7 days the SEC filed a civil criticism against Mancini and OCP and bought courtroom acceptance to freeze the accounts of Mancini and OCP. The U.S. Attorney’s Workplace for New Jersey also filed a legal grievance.

The prison fees could lead to up to 20 yrs in jail on two of the fees, and 10 a long time for a 3rd.

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

Brain has offered Mancini the possibility to remark on this story. As of Tuesday morning he has not.  

The SEC’s civil circumstance could direct to the recovery of resources, penalties and interest, and also could final result in Mancini currently being barred from offering securities or serving as an officer of a general public firm. The felony case could result in up to 20 many years in prison for each and every of the securities fraud and wire fraud charges, and up to 10 years in jail on the revenue laundering charge, furthermore fiscal penalties.

The circumstance is submitted in New Jersey mainly because at the very least one of the alleged victims lives there.

‘The only real alternative’

According to a 2020 executive summary of OCP’s programs, contained in court files, the fund prepared to purchase the Italian models and relaunch them on a purchaser-direct website with an emphasis on sales in the U.S.

“By attaining a specialty bike company, a substantial-margin helmet organization and a style savvy Italian garments corporation, OCP can leverage its advertising, analytics and logistics skills with no compromising the personal manufacturers,” the summary claimed. It reported De Rosa would grow to be “the only real alternate to Canyon (a €400MM German Corporation) in the Highway Bicycle DTC space.”

Investor communications contained in court docket information suggest that OCP prepared to shell out about 3.2 million euros ($3.7 million) for Limar, 9.5 million euros ($11.2 million) for De Rosa and 3.6 million euros ($4.2 million) for Gruppo SRL. According to an update email that Mancini despatched to the trader group very last November and contained in the files the SEC has submitted with the courtroom, OCP experienced agreed to pay out 1 million euros for a 70% share in De Marchi. Nevertheless, in accordance to Mancini’s interaction to the buyers, De Marchi’s proprietors then transformed study course and said they would provide 100% of the company for 3.5 million euros, which Mancini mentioned he would not agree to.

On Tuesday, De Marchi’s CEO explained to Mind it didn’t come about like that. Mauro Coccia said the enterprise reached an arrangement to sell a the vast majority share in the business to OCP, but that Mancini failed to pay. “We failed to change our minds — he did not execute the wire transfer,” Coccia mentioned. “They had a good system, but the offer expired a extended time ago and we forgot about it.”

Shortly soon after the bid to get De Marchi ended, OCP determined Gruppo Srl as a takeover focus on, estimating it would charge about $3 million to acquire that corporation.

Misled and misused.

The SEC and U.S. Attorney’s problems every single present scenarios exactly where they say Mancini misled investors or misused funds. For instance, the problems allege, Mancini instructed traders he was an alumnus of the West Level Army Academy (his LinkedIn account states he examined economics at West Place from 1984 to 1988). According to the grievances, investigators discovered Mancini under no circumstances graduated from West Level simply because of an ethics violation. An online database of West Point graduates that Mind reviewed does not involve Mancini’s title. The issues said that some buyers, who had been in actuality West Level graduates, deemed Mancini’s education vital in deciding irrespective of whether to spend in his fund.

The problems also charge that Mancini misled traders by indicating that he experienced invested tens of millions of his possess funds into the fund. For case in point, in accordance to the complaint, in March this yr Mancini shared a capitalization table with OCP’s greatest investor. The desk indicated that Mancini had invested a full of $9.4 million into the fund: $1.2 million personally and $8.2 million as a trustee of his relatives trusts.

In accordance to the SEC this was not correct. “Mancini under no circumstances invested any considerable sum of dollars in the Fund, possibly straight or as trustee of any trust,” the criticism costs.

Things commenced to come to a head in late November 2020 when a group of 9 investors demanded the return of their investments in element since they hadn’t been given any updates on acquisition exercise. In accordance to a declaration submitted by one particular of the buyers, Mancini responded by saying he would take a personal financial loan to refund their dollars. He showed the traders many documents demonstrating nutritious bank balances in the U.S. and Europe.Court documents show a text conversation allegedly between Mancini and an investor who was waiting to get his money back via a bank wire.

A person investor who visited Mancini’s place of work in Denver in February took a image of Mancini’s laptop display screen, which appeared to demonstrate an Italian financial institution account with a 5 million euro balance.

In accordance to court filings, SEC investigators later on established that some of the account harmony statements Mancini shared experienced been forged. An e-mail from a Colorado banker, which Mancini allegedly showed to an trader to back again up his tale, was also forged, in accordance to the bank.

By March 2021, some of the traders had been insisting on reimbursement and grew progressively alarmed as he explained to them by way of electronic mail and textual content that his bank was unable to comprehensive wire transfers to them.

In the end, the trader mentioned only a single member of the team obtained any repayment, for $100,000 (referenced in the text screenshot over).

OCP staff members ‘devastated.’

The prison grievance refers to an unnamed “co-conspirator 1,” who it describes as a Laguna Seaside, California, resident who acted as co-CEO and co-managing director of OCP, and taking care of director of OCP Italia. The grievance does not charge co-conspirator 1 with any crimes or securities violations and notes that Mancini was the sole signatory on most of OCP’s lender accounts. Neither criticism is made up of costs of conspiracy.

OCP’s internet site as recently as Friday mentioned field veteran Andrew Herrick as a managing director. As of Sunday the firm’s “staff member” world wide web webpage had been up to date to get rid of anyone besides Mancini. 

Achieved by Brain, Herrick mentioned he would have no remark on the tips of his attorney. Herrick was co-founder of Pedro’s and afterwards held executive positions at GT, Crankbrothers and Extreme Cycles.

Other workforce users formerly stated on the OCP site are Eric Horton and Michelle VanGilder, both of those marketplace veterans. Horton, Giro’s former artistic director, was detailed as OCP’s Head of Merchandise. In an electronic mail to Brain, Horton stated he was “devastated by the allegations,” introducing that he was in the method of getting authorized tips and would have no comment.

VanGilder, a veteran of Felt Bicycles and Crankbrothers, was listed on the OCP website on Friday as operations director, although she evidently left the business about a month ago her LinkedIn webpage signifies she now is consulting with Rossignol Team.

Horton and Herrick just about every resigned from OCP just after Mancini’s arrest. 

Just one of the previous team users advised Brain that they ended up unaware of any improprieties at OCP before studying of Mancini’s arrest last 7 days. “We are victims in this just as substantially as anybody else,” one of the crew members advised Brain.

In 2019, OCP associates declared publicly that it was forming a partnership with Italy’s De Rosa that would guide to developing a U.S. distributor for the brand name and bringing its bikes again to the best concentrations of specialist cycling. That partnership was never established, although De Rosa is again in the ProTour, exactly where its bikes are ridden by the Cofidis Solutions Credits squad.

Earlier problems versus Mancini

Courtroom files display that Mancini was a co-defendant in a 2012 civil case brought from Bella’s Marketplace, a chain of Colorado groceries Mancini acquired in 2006. The plaintiff in the suit, Freshpack Make, charged Bella’s with not shelling out $75,000 for create it bought for the retailers. It reported on two occasions Bella’s reduce checks for partial payments that ended up returned by its lender. The case was dismissed in 2014.

The Denver Post in 2014 documented that Bella’s Marketplace shelves had been bare in numerous rural Colorado towns and quoted inhabitants indicating that Mancini ran the grocery chain into the floor right after getting it. The 2014 post also elevated concerns about Mancini’s West Stage training claims.