UPDATED 4 p.m.
The Danbury nightclub owner arrested Friday morning defrauded more than 15 investors of nearly $500,000 in a Ponzi scheme, federal authorities said.
Ian Bick, 19, owner of the Tuxedo Junction nightclub, took money from friends and acquaintances, pledging to pay high returns from investments in concerts and in resale of electronics on the internet, according to an indictment released Friday afternoon. Instead he used the money on personal expenses, including hotel stays and purchases of items such as jet skis, authorities said.
A Ponzi scheme is one in which money raised from new investors is used to pay returns to previous investors, and usually collapses when new investors cannot be found or authorities step in.
Bick pleaded not guilty to the charges in an appearance in federal court and was released on $250,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on the most serious charges.
The teenage owner of a popular Danbury music venue was arrested by U.S. Postal Service agents at his home this morning on mail fraud, wire fraud and other charges, the FBI said.
Ian Bick, 19, who owns Tuxedo Junction on Ives Street, was due to be arraigned in federal court in Bridgeport, FBI spokeswoman Marybeth Miklos said.
Details about the charges were not immediately available, the spokeswoman said.
Bick has been in trouble with Danbury police several times on unrelated issues. In October, he was charged with illegal alcohol sales and permitting underage drinking, officials say. Bick said then he was being unfairly wrongly targeted.
In that case, three undercover officers posed as patrons after police said they had received several complaints about illegal distribution of alcohol at Tuxedo Junction, which often draws large crowds of young music fans, Danbury Lt. Chris Carroccio said in an interview in October.
Tuxedo Junction caters to all ages and does not have a liquor license. According to Carroccio, several EMS calls were made Oct. 4 regarding intoxicated teenagers at the site. Seven intoxicated teens were taken to Danbury Hospital that night who said they were coming from Tuxedo Junction or were found in the immediate area, Carroccio said.
Bick has also butted heads with zoning official Sean Hearty, after Bick refused to comply with multiple city regulations.
In September Bick was also charged of second-degree criminal mischief after breaking the gate to his community.