The financial world is reeling over the Bernard Madoff scandal and the alleged multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme that has hit everyone from Fairfield retirees to media moguls. However, there has been another big-dollar Ponzi scheme to hit Connecticut and the man behind it is going to jail, rather than a well-appointed penthouse.
Dale L. Graybill, 64, of North Haven, solicited investments for fictitious investment programs, and used money from those “investments" to pay gambling expenses and credit card bills, according to Nora Dannehy, acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Graybill lured in investors by telling them he had special access to exclusive, government-backed trading programs that were originally opened only to the very wealthy but that he could make available to them, according to court documents.
During meetings held at his former residence in Branford, he solicited potential investors and told them that he would place their investment funds in safe, exclusive, offshore, high-yield bank debenture “trading programs” that would produce greater than market rates of returns of up to 25 percent per month, according to Dannehy.
There would be little or no risk and the investments were secured by United States Treasury Bills, he told them, according to Dannehy.
Investors handed over their money and Graybill used it and paid business expenses and made “lulling payments to investors to create the appearance that the investments were safe, secure, and had been invested as promised,” according to Dannehy. Graybill also used the money to pay credit card bills and gambling expenses, Dannehy said.
On June 15, 2005, Graybill pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, for a check in the amount of $398,910 that was supposed to be distributed back to the victim investors, and one count of making and subscribing a false 2002 tax return.
The false tax return charge stemmed from using the proceeds from the Ponzi scheme without declaring the funds as income, so he withheld $93,293 of taxes from the government for the 2002 tax year, Dannehy said.
Graybill was sentenced Monday to 48 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.
He must pay his victims restitution in the amount of $10,672,876. He also must pay $93,293 to the Internal Revenue Service.
To date, the court-appointed receiver has collected approximately $817,000 to distribute to victims.