A Fairfield County man has been sentenced to 42 months in prison in connection with his years-long Ponzi scheme to defraud customers of nearly $5 million.
James T. Booth, 75, of Norwalk, was sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday, Nov. 17, Audrey Strauss, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said.
Booth, who ran Booth Financial Associates, pleaded guilty in October 2019 to the crimes.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Booth ripped off clients of nearly $5 million through a variety of lies and misrepresentations.
“Today, James T. Booth was sentenced for brazenly bilking some 40 clients of nearly $5 million by fraudulently convincing them that he would deliver solid and secure returns on their investments," Strauss said. "Instead, Booth delivered lies and deceit."
According to the allegations contained in the indictment from 2013 through 2019, Booth solicited money from clients of Booth Financial and falsely promised to invest their money in securities offered outside of their ordinary advisory and brokerage accounts.
Specifically, he directed certain clients to write checks or wire money to an entity named “Insurance Trends, Inc.” Instead of investing his clients’ funds, Booth, who controlled the bank account of Insurance Trends, Inc., subsequently misappropriated his clients’ funds to pay his personal and business expenses.
In total, he raised more than $4.9 million from approximately 40 investors.
To prevent investors from seeking a return on their money, and to induce additional investments, Booth provided investors with fabricated account statements that falsely indicated he had purchased certain securities on their behalf and that those investments had generated a profit.
In addition to the prison term, Booth was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $4,969,689.00 in forfeiture.
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