A Boothbay Harbor man was arrested and charged by federal authorities Wednesday for wire fraud in a scheme investigators say gathered $900,000 in phony investments.
According to a press release from the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, FBI investigators believe Garrett L. "Denny" Denniston, 62, offered investors a special "friends and family" deal with guaranteed returns and a high rate of interest.
The FBI alleges that Denniston ran these deals through ConsensusOne LLC and other Consensus companies, defrauding two victims out of $400,000, another two out of $300,000 and a third out of $200,000.
Investigators believe that Denniston told investors that his business specialized in mergers and acquisitions and that he would entice investors by offering investments in stock options of companies that were in the process of being sold.
The Portland Press Herald reported that Denniston had known some of the victims for almost 30 years and spent the money on personal expenses, including country club memberships, a car loan, his mortgage and a $75,000 home remodeling contract with a company in Boothbay Harbor.
David Fein, the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, urged investors to be wary of promises of guaranteed investment returns and said that investigators are seeking any potential victims of the scheme to come forward with more information about the case.
Citizens with information that might be helpful to the investigation are encouraged to contact FBI Special Agent David Ford at (203) 382-6645.
Denniston was charged with wire fraud in a Portland courtroom Wednesday. If convicted, he faces up to a $1 million fine and 30 years in prison. Denniston will remain in police custody pending a hearing in Portland on Monday.