Former Connecticut resident charged with offenses stemming from alleged $4 million investment fraud scheme


Date: May 9, 2024


Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Harry T. Chavis, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a 21-count indictment charging John A. Masanotti, Jr., of Bonita Springs, Florida, with offenses stemming from an alleged investment fraud scheme.

The indictment was returned on May 7, 2024, and Masanotti was arrested today. He appeared in federal court in Fort Myers, Florida, and was released on a $100,000 bond. Masanotti is scheduled to be arraigned in Hartford federal court on May 15.

The indictment alleges that Masanotti, who formerly resided in Darien, Connecticut, was the owner and managing member of Middlesex Mortgage Group, LLC, also known as Middlesex Group, LLC (“Middlesex”), based in Darien. Through Middlesex, Masanotti, acting as an investment advisor, purported to manage a pooled investment vehicle on behalf of investors. Masanotti claimed to clients and potential clients that invested funds were going to be, and were in fact, pooled together and invested in foreign currency and other investments. Between approximately 2016 and 2023, Masanotti defrauded at least 10 clients of a total of more than $4 million by using their money for personal expenses, and to pay returns to other clients. Masanotti provided clients with fraudulent monthly account statements from Middlesex that showed fake investment profits.

The indictment also alleges that Masanotti made false statements to the FBI during the investigation and filed false records in an attempt to obstruct the investigation.

The indictment charges Masanotti with eight counts of wire fraud, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count; 11 counts of making illegal monetary transactions, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count; one count of making false statements, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years; and one count of falsification of records in a federal investigation, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

This matter has been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; with the assistance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather L. Cherry.