Second Individual Pleads Guilty to Investment Fraud
OCALA, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Bryan T. Zuzga (37, Coldwater, Michigan) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and has also agreed to pay more than $11.6 million in restitution to his victims. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Zuzga and his two conspirators, Jenifer E. Hoffman (38, Clermont) and John C. Boschert (43, Apopka), defrauded over $11 million from more than 100 victims through investments offered in connection with a company called Assured Capital Consultants. As part of their solicitations, the conspirators represented to investors that money would be placed in a Performing Private Placement Investment, and that Boschert had connections to the trading program being used. Investors were told that their investments would be safe and that none of their money would leave the attorney escrow account that belonged to Zuzga, who was represented as being an attorney licensed in Florida. Investors were further advised that their funds would be used as collateral for a line of credit, which would then be used in trading.
None of those representations were true. Zuzga was not an attorney licensed in Florida or any other state, and the funds were not deposited into any escrow account controlled by him. Instead, the three operated a scheme in which money from later investors was paid to earlier investors. The three also used some of the money from the scheme for themselves, including purchasing residences for Hoffman and Zuzga.
In a prior civil proceeding, the United States forfeited two residences belonging to Hoffman and Zuzga, which had been purchased with proceeds from the scheme. The government obtained more than $850,000 from the sale of the properties. The proceeds from those sales were distributed to the victims of the scheme.
Boschert pleaded guilty on October 29, 2014, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 23, 2015. Hoffman has been charged with one count of conspiracy, eleven counts of wire fraud, and one count of making a false tax return. Her trial is set for July 6, 2015. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each count of conspiracy and wire fraud, and three years in federal prison for the false tax return.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Roger B. Handberg, James Mandolfo, and Nicole M. Andrejko.