NEW CANAAN, Conn. — A former New Canaan man was sentenced Wednesday to 33 months in federal prison for defrauding investors of more than $1.3 million, prosecutors said.
John B. Jeffrey, also known as Tucker Jeffrey, 49, of Denver, was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to three years of supervised release after his prison term, according to U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly.
On March 24, Jeffrey pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in the case.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Jeffrey offered individuals the opportunity to invest in Anchor Shipping and Trading as well as Southern Cross Shipping, representing to victims that 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.
But the shipping companies were entirely fictitious. Instead of using invested funds as he had promised, Jeffrey used the vast majority of the money for his personal expenses, including paying the mortgage on his New Canaan home, tuition at private schools, country club dues and home renovation and landscaping costs.
As part of the scheme, Jeffrey created bogus documents that represented that certain well-known executives in the international shipping business were involved with the companies when, in fact, those executives had no such 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.
Bolden also ordered Jeffrey to pay $919,500 in restitution to the victims of this scheme. Jeffrey paid back some victims after he found out about the FBI investigation, but required those victims to sign “settlement” agreements purporting to settle claims related to the fictitious companies.
This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan L. Wines.