September 15, 2014

Three Individuals Charged in Investment Scheme

OCALA, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Jenifer E. Hoffman (37, Clermont), John C. Boschert (43, Apopka), and Bryan T. Zuzga (37, Coldwater, Michigan) with one count of conspiracy and eleven counts of wire fraud. Hoffman has also been charged with one count of filing a false tax return. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each conspiracy and wire fraud count. Hoffman faces a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment for the false tax return count.

According to court documents, Hoffman, Boschert, and Zuzga defrauded over 100 victims out of more than $10 million, through investments offered in connection with a company called Assured Capital Consultants. As part of their solicitations, the defendants represented to investors that their money would be invested in a Performing Private Placement Investment, and that Boschert had connections to the trading program that was being used. Investors were told that their investments were 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 United States obtained over $850,000 from the sale of the two properties. The proceeds from those sales were distributed to the victims of the scheme.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law, 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 will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Roger B. Handberg, James Mandolfo, and Nicole M. Andrejko.