DANBURY, Conn. — A 22-year-old Danbury man who claimed on his LinkedIn page that he would "buy and sell products one by one for a great mark up" to make money for himself and others pleaded guilty Monday to stealing nearly $300,000 from individuals who invested in his Internet business.
Alexander Bergen waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to one count of interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud, according to U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly.
Bergen, who was CEO of CT Wholesale, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of more than $500,000 and an order of restitution when sentenced.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Bergen operated CT Wholesale, an Internet company that made money by buying electronic equipment and other items for a cheaper price and then reselling those products to online customers at a higher price.
Beginning in 2013, Bergen began to accept investment funds from people who were promised a return on their investments.
He told investors that he would use their investment funds solely to purchase products for resale to customers and that the investors would receive their principal investment back with a profit in a specified period of time. In some cases, Bergen entered into written investment agreements with investors agreeing to those terms.
Bergen received a total of more than $300,000 from 10 investors. But he did not use these funds solely to purchase products. In 2013, Bergen used $150,000 of the investors’ money to pay for his personal credit card bills, which included personal expenses for fine dining, traveling, and shopping at high-end retail stores.
Bergen returned less than $40,000 in funds to his investors. Collectively, the investors lost $286,000 of the investment funds they provided to him.
He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on Oct. 14.
His LinkedIn page says, "I make money and help others do the same." He lists his education as "high school only" and his experience as the self-employed CEO of CT Wholesale.
The company is in the business of "wholesale distribution and warehousing of consumer electronics, accessories and just about any product that I am requested to source. With profit margins you have never seen before (because of my low overhead)," Bergen says on the LinkedIn page.
This case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Richard J. Schechter.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.