iPhone App Fraud Ends With Criminal Plea

June 21, 2013

Jonathan Gracia, 24, Middletown, CT, strikes me as a fairly intelligent young man with apparently far too much time on his hands and a very, very active imagination. According to federal prosecutors, Gracia told his friends and acquaintances that he was developing a website for which he had potential buyers.

A website. And buyers for that website. Ehh, not that great a business plan but, hey, for a young guy perhaps a start.

Then there was this other business idea of Gracia's: He claimed to have developed an iPhone app.

Yeah, okay - not exactly another earth-shattering new business but, again, for a young guy, ya gotta start somewhere.  At least Gracia seemed to be diversifying.

Raising The Bucks

Showing a flair for entrepreneurship, Gracia embarked upon fundraising via his solicitation of his friends and acquaintances for investments and loans. Gracia promised humongous returns on investment.

Fabulous? Nah, Fabrication

Perhaps being unfamiliar with the concepts of ethics and legality, Gracia provided to his investors and lenders bogus documents, including fake checks, fabricated bank account statements, and a bogus letter on what appeared to be the letterhead of a prominent Connecticut hedge fund management company. 

According to federal prosecutors, Gracia's scam defrauded his victims out of at least $200,000.

Wire Fraud

Alas, when you see the phrase "according to federal prosecutors," you sort of know that this didn't end well. Gracia was arrested on March 18, 2013.

On June 18, 2013, Gracia waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in federal court in the District of Connecticut.  He now faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
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