DANBURY, Conn. — A 21-year-old Danbury man who once owned the Tuxedo Junction nightclub was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison for defrauding investors of nearly $500,000 in a Ponzi scheme.
Ian Bick's prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release, with the first one served in home confinement, according to Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly.
A jury found Bick guilty on six counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering in November 2015.
According to the evidence at trial, Bick was a principal and/or managing member of various Danbury-based entities, including This Is Where It’s At Entertainment, Planet Youth Entertainment and others. He bilked friends, former classmates, acquaintances, and their parents out of by promising high return rates on investments.
Through this scheme, Bick defrauded more than 15 investors out of a total of $480,635. He was also ordered to make full restitution to his victims by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer at the sentencing in New Haven.
Meyer said he took Bick's relatively young age into account when sentencing him to prison but said he deserved a prison sentence for failing to take responsibility for his crimes, according to the News-Times.
At his sentencing Wednesday, Bick acknowledged his mistakes, the News-Times said, but one of the victims said Bick easily took him to the cleaners through his lies in the financial scheme.
Bick lied to his victim-investors that he could generate high returns by using their funds to purchase electronics and electronic devices, such as iPhones, tablets and head phones, and by reselling the items for a substantial profit via the Internet. However, the electronic resale business never actually began in earnest and did not return any meaningful profit.
He also told some victim-investors that he could generate high returns by organizing and promoting concerts at various venues in Connecticut and Rhode Island. But Bick lied, saying that he had made significant profits organizing and promoting concerts in the past.
Bick failed to invest the funds he received as he had represented and instead used the money for unrelated and unsuccessful businesses, and to pay personal expenses, including hotel stays and to purchase jet skis.
He also used invested funds to issue payments, purportedly as “interest payments” and as “return of principal,” to certain victim-investors as part of a Ponzi scheme.
The 2013 Danbury High School graduate was arrested in January 2015 when he was just 19.
He had been out on bond while awaiting sentencing, but a judge revoked the order Oct. 4 because Bilk had continued to engage in money-laundering activities and visited an out-of-state casino multiple times.
Click here to read the story at the News-Times website.