A Newtown man recently plead guilty to allegations that he offered investors a "family and friends discount" on stocks, and then turned around and spent that money of family and friends. The 62-year-old man pleaded guilty in New Haven federal court to one count of wire fraud stemming from a seven-year scheme in which 50 people were defrauded of $2.5 million.
According to court records, the man ran a company called ConsensusOne and attracted investors from 2005 to 2012, claiming during that time to have special investment options on merging companies under what he called a "friends and family deal."
Those stocks, according to authorities, didn't exist, and the money ended up being used for Denniston's own purposes, including purchasing gifts or family members, hotels, restaurants, country club memberships, golf and ski outings, mortgage and rent payments, and cable and telephone bills.
Denniston faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing. Sources didn't detail whether prosecutors will be asking for the full sentence, or what the defense attorney's strategy will be at sentencing.
One thing to be aware of in criminal cases is that criminal defense doesn't end upon conviction. Even after conviction, a criminal defense attorney continues to advocate for the convicted party. This often means attempting to persuade the judge to impose a lighter sentence.
It takes skill to be able to make an effective argument on such matters, even though the decision is ultimately in the hands of the judge. A criminal defendant deserves zealous advocacy from the beginning of the case all the way through until the end.
Source: Connecticut Post, "Newtown man pleads guilty to $2.5 million scam," February14, 2013