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A Wethersfield man pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court Wednesday to one count of wire fraud stemming from an investment scheme that defrauded a dozen individuals and couples of nearly $900,000 over an eight-year period.

As part of the scheme, 53-year-old Anthony G. Sciarra falsely promoted himself as a bona fide insurance agent and financial adviser, authorities said. Sciarra, according to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, solicited investments from various victims with promises of high annual returns ranging from 4 to 12 percent or more. He did so through AGS Financial and later through an entity he owned called Westport Enterprises.

In the five-page complaint outlining the charges, federal prosecutors claimed that instead of investing the money in which he “guaranteed greater-than-market annual returns,” Sciarra used most of the money collected from 2007 through July 2015 for his personal gain. That, court papers said, included large ATM withdrawals from a Connecticut casino, dining at restaurants and spending sprees at department stores. In total, Sciarra is said to have taken over $1 million and caused losses to the victims to the tune of $874,000. Some victims did get partial payments from Sciarra as part of his illegal activities, the government said.

Sciarra, the government claimed, falsely represented to his victims that he’d invest their money in a fund, such as the ING Bond fund, or a cigarette distribution business.

The government said Sciarra misled his victims that their investments earned the high investment returns he promised and he provided them with “false statements both in emails and on AGS Financial letterhead that contained false representations regarding amounts of interest earned and false account balances and total account value.”

Sciarra, investigators said, did issue partial payments to some of his victims by diverting funds from other victims. Sciarra continued the scheme even after his insurance license was revoked in May 2012 by the Connecticut Department of Insurance.

Sciarra was released this week by U.S. District Judge Michael Shea on $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 26 and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Sciarra’s attorney, Michael O. Sheehan of New Haven’s Sheehan & Reeve, wasn’t available for comment Friday.

Michael S. McGarry, who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Haven, was also not available for comment.

The case was investigated by the FBI with the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Banking, Securities Division.

A Wethersfield man pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court Wednesday to one count of wire fraud stemming from an investment scheme that defrauded a dozen individuals and couples of nearly $900,000 over an eight-year period.

As part of the scheme, 53-year-old Anthony G. Sciarra falsely promoted himself as a bona fide insurance agent and financial adviser, authorities said. Sciarra, according to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, solicited investments from various victims with promises of high annual returns ranging from 4 to 12 percent or more. He did so through AGS Financial and later through an entity he owned called Westport Enterprises.

In the five-page complaint outlining the charges, federal prosecutors claimed that instead of investing the money in which he “guaranteed greater-than-market annual returns,” Sciarra used most of the money collected from 2007 through July 2015 for his personal gain. That, court papers said, included large ATM withdrawals from a Connecticut casino, dining at restaurants and spending sprees at department stores. In total, Sciarra is said to have taken over $1 million and caused losses to the victims to the tune of $874,000. Some victims did get partial payments from Sciarra as part of his illegal activities, the government said.

Sciarra, the government claimed, falsely represented to his victims that he’d invest their money in a fund, such as the ING Bond fund, or a cigarette distribution business.

The government said Sciarra misled his victims that their investments earned the high investment returns he promised and he provided them with “false statements both in emails and on AGS Financial letterhead that contained false representations regarding amounts of interest earned and false account balances and total account value.”

Sciarra, investigators said, did issue partial payments to some of his victims by diverting funds from other victims. Sciarra continued the scheme even after his insurance license was revoked in May 2012 by the Connecticut Department of Insurance.

Sciarra was released this week by U.S. District Judge Michael Shea on $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 26 and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Sciarra’s attorney, Michael O. Sheehan of New Haven’s Sheehan & Reeve, wasn’t available for comment Friday.

Michael S. McGarry, who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Haven, was also not available for comment.

The case was investigated by the FBI with the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Banking, Securities Division.