Cheshire Woman Sentenced to Prison for Fraud and Tax Offenses Stemming from Nearly $1 Million Embezzlement Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CHRISTOPHER J. SAKELARAKIS, 35, of Milford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for an investment scheme that defrauded an elderly victim of $60,000.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Sakelarakis held himself out as having the necessary qualifications, experience and abilities to provide investment services to an elderly victim-investor. Sakelarakis falsely represented to the victim that he had a number of investment clients, that he was making a substantial profit including by day trading, and that he had a contact in an investment firm who provided him with stock tips. Sakelarakis also represented that he would invest in stocks, options and other financial instruments on behalf of the victim and that his compensation would be a commission on 10 percent of the profits.
In October 2017, the victim provided Sakelarakis with a $60,000 check. The funds were more than half of what the victim had saved for retirement. Within days after receiving and depositing the check, Sakelarakis withdrew $30,000 in cash, and then made additional cash withdrawals, including several large withdrawals at ATMs. Sakelarakis spent a portion of the funds at stores such as Armani Exchange, Foot Locker, Macy’s and Gamestop. In October and November 2017, Sakelarakis made several false representations in e-mails to the victim-investor relating to the status of the “investments” and the victim’s account. No funds were ever returned to the victim.
Judge Hall ordered Sakelarakis to pay full restitution, plus interest, to the victim.
Sakelarakis was arrested on October 15, 2018. On December 27, he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Sakelarakis, who is released on a $60,000 bond, is required to report to prison on September 4, 2019.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wilton Police Department and Greenwich Police Department, with the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Banking. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. McGarry and Law Student Intern Evan Marlow.
U.S. Attorney Durham noted that this case has been brought as part of the Justice Department’s Elder Justice Initiative (EJI). To learn more about EJI, please visit www.justice.gov/elderjustice.