Branford Man Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Defrauding Investors of More Than $5 Million
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 28, 2014|
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Juan Jose Alvarez de Lugo Azpurua, 54, of Branford, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton in Bridgeport to 48 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating a real estate investment scheme that defrauded individuals of more than $5 million.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Alvarez de Lugo, who held himself out as the president of multiple successful businesses specializing in real estate development programs, represented to victim investors that his business was acquiring houses from the city of New Haven and from local banks.
Investors were told that invested funds would be used to remodel the houses, which would then be sold. At times, Alvarez de Lugo represented to victim investors that he was working jointly with New Haven on the Livable City Initiative, and he stated that the remodeled homes would be used and occupied by low income families that secured financing from a local bank and state of Connecticut agencies. Alvarez de Lugo also told investors that he was developing a senior housing facility in New Haven. He also provided investors with promissory notes and other documentation that promised to pay investors interest of 20 percent per year and a full return of principal in one year.
Alvarez de Lugo has admitted that these representations were false and that he did not invest his victims’ money as promised. He did not own and develop the large number of properties he represented to investors, and he had no relationship with the city of New Haven or the state of Connecticut.
Between approximately 2005 and 2010, Alvarez de Lugo defrauded approximately 30 victims of more than $5 million.
He spent investment money on his own personal expenses, including improving his Branford residence with a swimming pool and backyard patio and to pay his children’s school and college tuition.
Alvarez de Lugo was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,161,083.
Alvarez de Lugo has been detained since his arrest on January 18, 2013. On September 18, 2013, he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Alvarez de Lugo’s three companies, Arquin Decoraciones LLC, Arquin Development LLC, and Juko Investments LLC, and the investment instruments he provided were never registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or Connecticut Department of Banking.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the State of Connecticut Department of Banking. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. McGarry.