NEW CANAAN, Conn. — A former New Canaan resident, John Jeffrey, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of wire fraud stemming from a cargo shipping scheme to defraud investors of more than $1.3 million, according to Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Daily said Jeffrey, also known as Tucker Jefferey, 48, currently a resident of Denver, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport.
According to court documents, Jeffrey offered people the opportunity to invest in Anchor Shipping and Trading, and Southern Cross Shipping, telling them the companies were organized in the Marshall Islands, were engaged in the cargo shipping business and had long-term contracts that would support a profitable international shipping business.
"Instead of using invested money as promised, Jeffrey used the vast majority of the money for his personal expenses, including paying for the mortgage on his New Canaan home, tuition at private schools, country club dues, and home renovation and landscaping costs," Daly said.
As part of the scheme, Jeffrey created bogus documents showing that certain well-known executives in the international shipping business were involved with the companies when, in fact, the executives had no involvement. He also emailed and telephoned his victims falsely representing that the companies were profitable, that the victims would soon be receiving distributions from their investments, and to reassure victims when payments were delayed, Daly said.
Jeffrey faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to abouyt $2.6 million. A sentencing date is not scheduled.
This matter has been investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan L. Wines.