Norwalk Accountant Sentenced to More Than 8 Years in Federal Prison for Running Ponzi Scheme
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMES E. NEILSEN, 55, of Norwalk was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 97 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of more than $1.6 million, and for stealing millions more from other investment accounts.
According to court documents and statements made in court, NEILSEN was a certified public accountant until he became inactive in approximately 2012. Since at least 2006, NEILSEN solicited and received more than $1 million dollars from numerous individuals to invest with Ulysses Partners, LLC, an entity in which NEILSEN was a partner and chief financial officer, or Neilsen Financial Services, an entity that NEILSEN owned and controlled. NEILSEN promised investors a guaranteed rate of return of 9 to 10.5 percent on their investment. NEILSEN told investors that Ulysses Partners or Neilsen Financial Services would invest their money in businesses or business ventures. Instead, NEILSEN used much of that money to pay back earlier victim investors and to make various personal expenditures.
As part of the scheme, NEILSEN submitted fabricated account statements to his victims, and also sent lulling emails to multiple victims.
Through this scheme, NEILSEN defrauded victim investors of $1,663,641.83.
In addition, NEILSEN stole funds from various trust and estates accounts to which he had access.
Judge Chatigny found that the total loss attributable to NEILSEN’s criminal conduct exceeds $6 million. A restitution hearing will be scheduled at a later time.
NEILSEN’s victims include his accounting clients, clients of his tax preparation business, friends and members of his family, including his 93-year-old great aunt. His victims also include minor children beneficiaries of a trust established after their father’s untimely death and whose trust monies NEILSEN had authorized access to. Approximately 10 of NEILSEN victims addressed the court during today’s sentencing proceeding.
NEILSEN was arrested on June 18, 2015. On September 24, 2015, he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
NEILSEN has been released on bond since his arrest. He will be confined to his home on electronic monitoring until he reports to prison on March 11, 2016.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Greenwich Police Department and the Connecticut Department of Banking. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang.