Man Admits Operating Investment Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 20, 2010|
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that PIERRE C. ARMAND, 76, of Bridgeport, formerly of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, waived his right to indictment and pled guilty today before Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to one count of wire fraud stemming from a scheme to defraud several investors of more than $350,000. ARMAND is a citizen of Haiti and a permanent resident alien of the United States.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2003, ARMAND established United World Holding Company, LLC (“World Holding”), a licensed domestic limited liability company in the State of Connecticut. ARMAND also opened a bank account in the company’s name. Between 2003 and 2009, ARMAND engaged in a scheme to defraud investors by misrepresenting to them that funds provided to him and World Holding would be used by World Holding for the construction of a building project near Dulles Airport in Virginia and for identified costs relating to that project, to purchase identified buildings in Connecticut, or for investment in other specified projects. However, ARMAND used a material portion of the invested funds for other purposes, including payments to the Alliance for the Progress of Haiti, for travel to Haiti, for other projects, and for payments to previous investors, family members and himself.
The government contends that during the course of the scheme, ARMAND defrauded investors out of more than $350,000.
Judge Thompson has scheduled sentencing for March 10, 2011, at which time ARMAND faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to approximately $700,000.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.
In December 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and several law enforcement and regulatory partners announced the formation of the Connecticut Securities, Commodities and Investor Fraud Task Force, which is investigating matters relating to insider trading, market manipulation, Ponzi schemes, investor fraud, financial statement fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and embezzlement. The Task Force includes representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section and Antitrust Division; U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Office of the Chief State’s Attorney; State of Connecticut Department of Banking; Greenwich Police Department and Stamford Police Department.
Citizens are encouraged to report any financial fraud schemes by calling, toll free, 855-236-9740, or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.