West Haven Woman involved in Scheme to Steal COVID-19 Relief Funds from the City Sentenced to Prison
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Joleen Simpson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging SAMUEL KLEIN, 64, of Greenwich with offenses stemming from an alleged investment fraud scheme.
The indictment was returned on December 7, 2020. Klein appeared yesterday via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons and was released on a $500,000 bond.
As alleged in the indictment, Klein made false representations to a victim-investor, including that the victim-investor’s funds would be invested in distressed debt, when Klein knew that all of the investment funds would not be used for the stated purposes. Based on these false representations, the victim-investor wrote a check in the amount of $200,000 to Visual Group LLC, an entity Klein controlled, for the purpose of making a purported investment in distressed debt. Klein caused the check to be transported from New York to Connecticut and deposited into a bank account in the name of Visual Group LLC. Klein subsequently solicited and received an additional $50,010 from the victim-investor by falsely representing that Klein needed to purchase title insurance in approximately that amount.
Klein knew that all of the funds he solicited from the victim-investor would not be used for his stated purposes, and that some of the funds would be utilized by Klein for personal and other expenditures.
The indictment charges Klein with one count of interstate transportation of property taken by fraud and one count of money laundering. Both offenses carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Laraia.