Convicted Ponzi Schemer and Alleged Conspirator Indicted for Multimillion-Dollar Fraud Scheme and Obstruction of Justice
TRENTON, N.J. – A Brooklyn man was sentenced today to 121 months in prison for conspiring with others in a week-long strongarm extortion scheme in 2019, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.
Francis A. Garzon, 35, of Brooklyn, New York, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion and one count of attempt to commit Hobbs Act extortion. U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi sentenced Garzon today in Trenton federal court. Garzon’s codefendant, Endrit Kllogjeri, was found guilty following a jury trial in June 2023 and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 21, 2024.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From Dec. 1, 2019 through Dec. 9, 2019, Garzon and Kllogjeri conspired and attempted to extort a resident of Monmouth County, New Jersey, and the resident’s son, who resided in Brooklyn, New York. The victim was allegedly threatened with physical harm if the victim did not recover a bag containing property allegedly valued at $100,000 from the victim’s son. Garzon and Kllogjeri further demanded an additional payment of $100,000 as “interest” for the son’s possession of the bag. Garzon admitted that he brandished a revolver at the victim in an effort to intimidate the victim. Over the ensuing week, Garzon and Kllogjeri communicated regularly with the victim’s telephone, continuing to threaten the victim and the victim’s family. Garzon and Kllogjeri were arrested together in a vehicle on Dec. 9, 2019 in Brooklyn. Moments before the arrest, Garzon had attempted to send the victim a text message confirming the victim’s plan to pay the demand.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Quraishi sentenced Garzon to three years of supervised release following Garzon’s release from prison.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the Marlboro Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Peter Pezzullo; and the New York City Police Department for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden, Attorney-in-Charge of the Trenton Office, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.