Third Individual Pleads Guilty to Investment Fraud
OCALA, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Jenifer E. Hoffman (38, Clermont) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to making a false tax return. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the conspiracy charge and up to three years in federal prison for the false tax return charge. Hoffman has also agreed to pay more than $11.6 million in restitution to her victims. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Hoffman and her two conspirators, John C. Boschert (43, Apopka) and Bryan T. Zuzga (37, Coldwater, Michigan), defrauded over 100 victims out of more than $11 million 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. They 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 United States 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 and Zuzga previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. On June 23, 2015, Boschert was sentenced to nine years in federal prison. Zuzga’s sentencing date has not yet been set.
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.