Jury convicts Connecticut man accused of running Ponzi scheme as teen

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 25, 2015 6:50 PM

By Nate Raymond

(Reuters) - A Connecticut man was found guilty on Wednesday on charges he ran a Ponzi scheme while he was a teenager in which he falsely promised high investment returns by reselling electronics online and promoting concerts.

Ian Parker Bick, 20, of Danbury, Connecticut, was convicted by a federal jury in New Haven on six counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, prosecutors said.

Jurors acquitted Bick on three counts and could not reach a verdict on four other counts, prosecutors said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2.

Jonathan Einhorn, Bick's lawyer, promised to appeal the conviction, and called the prosecution a "classic case of the government overcharging."

Prosecutors alleged that more than 15 investors were defrauded out of nearly $500,000 by Bick, who was indicted in January.

The mixed verdict means Bick was only convicted in connection with some of that money, said Einhorn, who added his client was found not guilty in connection with $225,000 prosecutors alleged was defrauded from one of the investors.

Prosecutors had charged that starting in 2012, Bick used the entities This Is Where It's At Entertainment, Planet Youth Entertainment, W&B Wholesale and W&B Investments to solicit funds from friends, former classmates and their parents.

Prosecutors said Bick, who was 17 when the alleged scheme began, falsely told investors he could generate high returns through a business reselling electronics like iPhones and tablets and by organizing and promoting concerts in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said in a statement that Bick "repeatedly lied to victim investors, took their money and used it to take trips with friends, on shopping sprees, to purchase jet skis, and also to pay off previous investors who were promised unrealistic returns."

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)