DANBURY, Conn. -- Legal troubles mounted Friday for Danbury teenager Ian Bick, the owner of a popular local nightclub.
Bick, 19, owner of Tuxedo Junction on Ives Street, was charged with fraud, money laundering and false statement offenses stemming from allegations that he ran a Ponzi scheme. The indictment was returned Thursday, and Bick was arrested at his home Friday morning. Earlier in the day, it was reported Bick was arrested by U.S. Postal Service agents at his home on mail fraud, wire fraud and other charges.
At his arraignment Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in U.S. District Court New Haven, Bick entered a plea of not guilty and was released on $250,000 bond.
According to the indictment, Bick was a principal and/or managing member of various Danbury-based entities, including This Is Where It’s At Entertainment, Planet Youth Entertainment, W&B Wholesale, and W&B Investments.
Bick is a 2013 graduate of Danbury High School.
Deirdre Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut, said Bick solicited investment funds from his friends, former classmates, acquaintances, and their parents by promising high investment returns over short periods of time. He also falsely represented to victims that he could generate the high investment returns by using their funds to purchase electronics and electronic devices, such as iPhones and head phones, and resell the electronics via the Internet, she said.
Bick also is accused of falsely representing to some victims that he could generate high investment returns by using their funds to organize and promote various concerts. He falsely represented that he had made significant profits organizing and promoting concerts, officials said.
As part of the scheme, it is alleged that Bick entered into various investment contracts with his victims.
The indictment alleges that Bick was not purchasing electronics and reselling any electronics on the Internet, and that the concerts he promoted were not generating significant profits as represented. He failed to invest the money as represented and instead diverted invested funds for 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.
It is alleged that, through this scheme, Bick defrauded more than 15 investors out of a total of nearly $500,000.
The indictment further alleges that, during a June 2014 interview with U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents, Bick falsely stated, with respect to the use of the money that a certain victim-investor invested with Planet Youth Entertainment, that “70 to 80 percent of the money had been on ‘artist deposits,’” when only a minimal portion of the invested funds had been used in any way connected with any artist deposits.
As conditions of his release, he was ordered not to have any contact with victims and witnesses, and not to use any social media accounts.
The indictment charges Bick with 11 counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison on each count, three counts of money laundering, which carry a maximum term of 10 years in prison on each count, and one count of making a false statement to federal law enforcement, which carries a maximum prison term of five years.
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