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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wethersfield Resident Sentenced to 46 Months in Federal Prison for Operating Investment Scheme

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ANTHONY G. SCIARRA, 54, of Wethersfield, formerly of Marlborough, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 46 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating an investment scheme that defrauded individuals and couples of more than $874,000.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2001 until May 2012, SCIARRA operated AGS Financial, through which he offered insurance, securities and other financial products. In approximately May 2012, the Connecticut Department of Insurance revoked SCIARRA’s insurance license.

Between approximately 2007 and July 2015, SCIARRA held himself out as a bona fide insurance agent and financial advisor when, in fact, he was not. Through AGS Financial, and later through an entity he described as “Westport Enterprises,” SCIARRA solicited investments from various victim-investors with promises of high annual investment returns ranging from 4 percent to 12 percent or more. SCIARRA falsely represented to investors that he would invest their funds in a bond fund or cigarette distribution business. Instead of investing any of the invested money as promised, SCIARRA diverted funds for his personal use, including to pay for restaurant meals and department store purchases, and to pay loans and other personal bills. The investigation revealed that SCIARRA made large cash withdrawals from ATMs and at Foxwoods Casino. SCIARRA also used some of the funds to make “interest” payments to other victim-investors.

During the scheme, SCIARRA made false statements to certain victim-investors, both in person and by e-mail, in an attempt to explain the various delays in the purported interest payments. In addition to telling victim-investors that their funds had been invested as represented, SCIARRA sought to prevent the discovery of the scheme by issuing payments to the victim-investors as a partial return of the principal and monies that were then due. Eventually, these payments stopped and the scheme was discovered.

Through this scheme, SCIARRA defrauded at least 12 victim-investors of $874,601.20

Judge Shea ordered SCIARRA to make full restitution.

On February 1, 2017, SCIARRA pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Judge Shea ordered SCIARRA to report to prison on August 30, 2017. SCIARRA is released on a $100,000 bond.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Banking, Securities Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. McGarry.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated July 19, 2017