DANBURY, Conn. — A 20-year-old man from Danbury was found guilty Wednesday by a federal jury of running a Ponzi scheme and defrauding investors out of nearly $500,000.
The jury in New Haven federal court found Ian Parker Bick guilty of fraud and money laundering offenses stemming from his operation of Ponzi scheme, said U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly.
“Mr. Bick repeatedly lied to victim investors, took their money and used it to take trips with friends, on shopping sprees, to purchase jet skis, and also to pay off previous investors who were promised unrealistic returns,” Daly said. “I thank the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut Department of Banking and Danbury Police Department for their diligent investigation and prosecution of this matter.”
Bick, a 2013 graduate of Danbury High School, owns the Tuxedo Junction club in Danbury. His trial before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer began on Nov. 6.
According to the evidence at trial, Bick was a principal and/or managing member of various Danbury-based entities, including This Is Where It’s At Entertainment, Planet Youth Entertainment, W&B Wholesale and W&B Investments.
Using these entities, he solicited investment funds from friends, former classmates, acquaintances, and their parents by promising high investment returns over short periods of time.
Bick falsely represented to victim-investors that he could generate returns by using their funds by purchasing electronic devices, such as iPhones, tablets and head phones, and reselling the items for a substantial profit via the Internet. However, the electronic resale business never began in earnest and did not return any meaningful profit.
He also falsely represented that he could generate high investment returns by using their funds to organize and promote concerts at venues in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Bick lied, saying he had made significant profits organizing and promoting concerts in the past.
He failed to invest the funds he received as he had represented and instead used the money for unrelated and unsuccessful businesses, and to pay personal expenses, including hotel stays and to purchase jet skis.
Bick also used invested funds to issue payments, purportedly as “interest payments” and as “return of principal,” to certain victim-investors.
Through this scheme, he defrauded more than 15 investors out of a total of nearly $500,000.
Bick was charged in a 15-count indictment on Jan. 8. The jury found him guilty on six counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum prison term of 20 years on each count, and one count of money laundering, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.
Meyer scheduled sentencing for March 2. Bick was released on a $250,000 bond.
The jury found Bick not guilty on two counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to federal law enforcement, and could not reach a verdict on three counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. The government dismissed one count of money laundering before the trial.
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