By John Lee.
A 51-year-old American has been charged in federal court with defrauding the co-founders and investors of a company out of approximately $175,000, relating to proposed investments in Iraq.
Prosecutors in Connecticut assert that Joseph T. Morris claimed to have extensive military and business experience in Iraq, and was the company’s in-country manager in Iraq.
According to the Wilton Bulletin, the company’s initial focus was on establishing a pizza restaurant at the U.S. consulate compound in Erbil; it also proposed establishing a business to distribute and install specialty window film on vehicles and at hotels, homes and government buildings that would protect windows and windshields from blast and breakage, and provide heat retention, ultraviolet shielding, and privacy.
The indictment alleges that Mr. Morris used fraudulent emails and photographs, falsely representing that a lease had been signed to establish the pizzeria, that renovations were underway, and that progress was being made towards completing renovations and opening the restaurant.
He also falsely represented that the company had an exclusive arrangement with a specialty window film manufacturer to distribute and install the window film in all of Iraq.
As a result, more than a dozen investors put approximately $175,000 in the company. The indictment alleges that Mr. Morris used large sums of money for his personal use.
(Source: Wilton Bulletin)
(Court image via Shutterstock)