Norwalk man admits to Ponzi scheme, conning elderly aunt

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NORWALK – A Norwalk man admitted to running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of more than $1.6 million.

In Hartford Federal Court Thursday, James E. Neilsen, 55, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud stemming from his operation of the scheme.

According to court documents, Neilsen was a certified public accountant until he became inactive around 2012. Since at least 2006, he solicited and received more than $1 million dollars from people to invest with Ulysses Partners, LLC, an entity in which he was a partner and chief financial officer, or Neilsen Financial Services, an entity that he owned and controlled.

He promised investors a guaranteed rate of return of 9-10.5 percent on their investment and told investors that Ulysses Partners or Neilsen Financial Services would invest their money in businesses or business ventures but instead, he used most of the money to pay back earlier victims or spent it on himself.

As part of the scheme, he submitted made-up account statements to his victims, and also sent emails luring in other victims.

Through this scheme, he defrauded victim investors of $1,663,641.83. His victims include his accounting clients, clients of his tax preparation business, friends, and members of his family, including his 93-year-old great-aunt. His victims also include minor children beneficiaries of a trust established after their father’s untimely death and whose trust monies he had access to.

He was arrested on June 18, and was released on $250,000 bail. He is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District on December 22, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. He also has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of nearly $6.3 million, which includes additional money owed to investors.