Former New Canaan Resident Admits Defrauding Investors
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JOHN B. JEFFREY, also known as TUCKER JEFFREY, 48, formerly of New Canaan, Conn., and currently a resident of Denver, Colo., waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to one count of wire fraud stemming from a scheme to defraud investors of more than $1.3 million.
According to court documents and statements made in court, JEFFREY offered individuals the opportunity to invest in Anchor Shipping and Trading, and Southern Cross Shipping, representing to victims that the companies were organized in the Marshall Islands, were engaged in the cargo shipping business, and had long-term contracts that would support a profitable international shipping business. Instead of using invested funds as he had promised, JEFFREY used the vast majority of the money for his personal expenses, including paying for the mortgage on his New Canaan home, tuition at private schools, country club dues, and home renovation and landscaping costs.
As part of the scheme, JEFFREY created bogus documents that represented that certain well-known executives in the international shipping business were involved with the companies when, in fact, those executives had no such involvement. He also e-mailed and telephoned his victims falsely representing that the companies were profitable, that the victims would soon be receiving distributions from their investments, and to reassure victims when payments were delayed.
JEFFREY faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to approximately $2.6 million. A sentencing date is not scheduled.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan L. Wines.