A ‘Shark Tank’ Contestant Was Sentenced To Prison After Scamming Investors Over His Wine Product

Photo credit: Eric McCandless - Getty Images
From Delish
A former ABC series Shark Tank contestant was sentenced to two years in prison after using money from investors to pay his own bills. Joseph Falcone put his wine product on the show and used that television appearance to get money from investors. He told them he would use those investments to fuel the success of the product, reports the New York Post.
When Falcone put its wine-in-a-cup concept on Shark Tank, it was about a single serving of wine in a plastic jar with a resealable lid. The concept was conceived as something that individuals could enjoy at their own pace. At one point, Kevin O’Leary, also known as "Mr. Wonderful", was interested in an investment, but the two could not agree on the terms of the partnership.
Still, Falcone used his appearance on the popular TV show to convince other nameless investors to contribute to his product and the VINO LLC of his 3G company. Investors reportedly donated more than $ 1.8 million between September 2014 and November 2015 for the wine product that was on display at the show. Instead, some of that money was used for Falcones personal bills, including the mortgage on his house.
In June 2019, Falcone pleaded guilty to raising money from investors and using it for his own bills and payments rather than for further developing its product. Falcone was sentenced to two years in prison last Friday and now has to repay seven investors.
Acting US attorney Seth DuCharme said in a statement: "Falcone's victims were wrapped up in his Shark Tank pitch, but with today's verdict, the accused is now hooked for his crimes."
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