Former Haitian presidential candidate pleads guilty

9 années ago
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A former candidate for the Haitian presidency pled guilty in a federal court in Connecticut on Tuesday to fraud charges related to a scheme involving property investments in Fairfield County.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut David Fein said that Pierre Armand, 76, of Ridgefield, N.J., waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson in Hartford to one count of wire fraud stemming from a scheme to defraud several investors of more than $350,000.
Armand is a citizen of Haiti and a permanent resident of the United States. From 2003 to 2009, the government said Armand ran a company called United World Holding Company LLC in Stamford. He offered an investment opportunity in a project near Dulles International Airport in Virginia, and in a real estate portfolio involving properties in Westport, Greenwich and Norwalk.
But the U.S. attorney said an investigation revealed that Armand used a material portion of the invested funds for other purposes including payments to the Alliance for the Progress of Haiti as well as travel to the island nation. Armand ran for president of Haiti in 2006. Authorities also claim he gave the money to his family and former investors in his company.
Armand was picked up amid a nationwide crackdown on Ponzi schemes and other fraudulent investment activity.
Thompson scheduled sentencing for March 10. Armand faces a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine as much as $700,000.
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