Valley man gets five years-plus for $1.1m investment Ponzi scheme

A Valley man has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for defrauding investors of more than $1.1 million in a financial scheme.
Robert E. Lee Jr., 51, of Oxford pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud for his role in operating a Ponzi scheme.

Lee was sentenced on March 11 in Bridgeport federal court to 63 months in jail (five years and three months), ordered to pay full restitution, told to forfeit $358,077 he had in an online trading account when arrested, and given a $10,000 fine.

Fabricated investor account statements

According to court documents and statements made in court, Lee was employed as a broker and financial advisor for various financial investment firms until July 2013, when he was terminated by his most recent employer, Rockwell Global Capital LLC.

Federal prosecutors said from January 2011 to March 2014, Lee defrauded individuals of approximately $1,150,815 by claiming that he was investing their money in various investment vehicles when, in fact, he was maintaining custody of their funds in his personal bank account.

He then used the money to make distributions to other investors, and for personal expenses, prosecutors said. To conceal the scheme, Lee allegedly fabricated account statements and other documents, which he delivered to his victims.

FBI led the investigation

Lee was arrested on May 12, 2014. On Dec. 17 of that year, he pleaded guilty in the case. He was sentenced earlier this week by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer.

The case matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and was prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorneys David T. Huang and Christopher M. Mattei from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut.