The 19-year-old owner of a popular music venue in Danbury, along with several entertainment companies, is facing federal charges after federal prosecutors say he defrauded more than 15 investors out of nearly $500,000 as part of a Ponzi scheme.
Ian Bick, 19, was arrested Friday morning and charged with 15 counts of fraud, money laundering and false statement, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Bick owns and manages a number of entertainment venues and companies, including Tuxedo Junction on Ives Street in Danbury, This is Where It's At Entertainment, Planet Youth Entertainment, W&B Wholesale and W&B Investments.
Federal prosecutors said Bick used those companies to defraud friends, family members, former classmates, acquaintances and their parents, who signed "loan agreements" and "music venture participation agreements" after Bick promised high returns over a short period of time.
According to the U.S. attorney's office, Bick told investors he would use their money to buy electronics and resell them for a profit, as well as to organize concerts in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
"Bick falsely represented that he had made significant profits organizing and promoting concerts in the past," officials with the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement Friday.
Federal prosecutors said Bick never actually invested that money and instead used it to book hotels and buy jet skis.
The Danbury News-Times reports that Bick has run into trouble with the law before.
According to the News-Times, Bick was charged with the illegal sale of alcohol in October after permitting underage drinking and serving alcohol without a liquor license.
He has also refused to comply with city regulations and has "butted heads" with town zoning officials, the News-Times reports.
Bick faces 11 counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering and one count of making false statements to federal law enforcement.
He could face a sentence of up to 255 years in prison if convicted on all counts, according to the U.S. attorney's office..