Christopher Plummer, 50, Lyme, Connecticut, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud stemming from investment fraud schemes that defrauded individuals out of approximately $1.9 million.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Plummer, holding himself out as an “Authorized Member” of New England Resorts LLC, falsely represented to investors and potential investors that heâ€”or a company he and a co-conspirator owned and/or controlledâ€”owned hundreds of acres of land in Lakeshore, Mississippi, a portion of which purportedly was zoned for casinos, numerous residential properties, and a medical facility.
He also falsely represented that the partners of the company had invested several hundred million dollars of their own funds in buying land and options on land in and around the town of Lakeshore. In soliciting funds for the “Lakeshore Development Project,” Plummer and a co-conspirator sent e-mails and attachments to victim investors that falsely represented that major Wall Street investment firms had confirmed that they would partner in the project.
For instance, in June 2007, Plummer sent an e-mail to an individual stating, in part, that a “take out” situation with a major Wall Street firm would result in a buyout of the property for $1.5 billion. In fact, there was no such “take out” plan.
After receiving the funds, Plummer and a co-conspirator did not invest the money as represented and instead diverted a significant portion of investors’ funds for their own personal use and benefit, including writing checks to cash, paying the expenses of McGrath Hotels (doing business as the Lighthouse Inn) and making mortgage payments on a property in Stonington, Connecticut.
As a result of this scheme, victim investors suffered losses of approximately $1.7 million.
In pleading guilty, Plummer also admitted that he represented himself to be a “managing member” of Madison and Wall Investments LLC. Plummer met with a victim-investor and represented that he could invest the victim’s money with a firm that utilized a computer-based trading system, and which would realize a 100 percent return within two years.
The victim investor then provided Plummer with two $100,000 checks. Plummer deposited the funds into a bank account he controlled in the name of Madison and Wall Investments LLC, and then wrote checks to himself, to a co-conspirator and a mortgage company.
In a letter dated Aug. 28, 2008, Plummer falsely represented that the balance in the victim-investor’s account was $247,700 when, in fact, the money had been spent. In total, the victim lost approximately $179,000 of his $200,000 investment.
Judge Eginton has scheduled sentencing for April 13, 2012, at which time Plummer faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
Plummer also has agreed to forfeit his interest in a 4.35 acre parcel of property in Stonington, Conn., an automobile and funds that have been seized during the investigation.
Plummer has been detained since his arrest on Nov. 29, 2010.
This case is being investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. McGarry and Special Litigation Counsel Richard J. Schechter.
David B. Fein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced the guilty plea.
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that this prosecution falls under the umbrella of the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information on the task force, visit: www.StopFraud.gov.