Shelton man sentenced to 3 years for $300k fraud

Shelton resident John H. Goldsmith was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport to 36 months in prison for securities fraud related to a multi-year scam that took more than $300,000 from family and friends.

U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill increased the sentence beyond the guidelines, telling Goldsmith he made his decision based on the duration of the crime, the betrayal of trust and the impact on the victims.

Goldsmith pleaded guilty to the charge in February. The sentence guidelines called for 21 months of incarceration, based on the monetary amount stolen.

For a period of five to seven years, according to court records, Goldsmith, a web developer, took investments at first he said to create a magazine. He then came upon the idea of creating a video web site for teen athletes and attempted to build that. However, he was unable to get the video website off the ground and eventually told investors he was able to buy stock in Sallie Mae at a discount rate on their behalf.

One investor remorgaged their house and sold stocks in legitimate companies to make the investment.

The FBI said Sallie Mae confirmed it did not buy his business and that Goldsmith never had access to discounted stocks.

Goldsmith’s attorney objected to the sentence. She and Goldsmith declined comment after judgement.

Rob Varnon