PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: James Ropp, Securities Commissioner
Phone: (302) 577-8925 or (302) 562-4884
Date: January 30, 2004
INSURANCE AGENT SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS INCARCERATION FOR SALE OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES TO SENIOR CITIZENS
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General M. Jane Brady announced that today Superior Court Judge Jan R. Jurden sentenced Dennis N. Carlson to seven years of incarceration arising out of his conviction on 28 felony counts of Sale of an Unregistered Security and one count of Sale of a Security by an Unregistered Agent, following a Jury trial in Superior Court. The guilty verdicts were entered at the conclusion of the trial on May 15, 2003. At trial, the State established that Carlson, who had previously agreed not to sell securities in a Consent Order entered on July 16, 1998, sold unregistered securities in the form of off-shore Certificates of Deposit issued by the First International Bank of Grenada and off-shore preferred stock issued Wellington Bank and Trust Ltd. Both investments turned out to be ponzi schemes. Carlson targeted senior citizens by placing anonymous advertisements for investment opportunities in the “Better Years” paper, a Delaware publication serving senior citizens. Ultimately, twelve Delawareans invested over $400,000 in these unregistered off-shore investments. The investors lost all their principle investment.
While Carlson said he was sorry for the harm he had caused, the Court noted that he had paid
no restitution to the victims since the conclusion of the trial.
In addition to the seven years of incarceration handed out by the Judge at sentencing, Carlson
was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $681,497.40 to the victims, representing $500,000 in
lost principle and $181,497.40 in interest on the lost principle. It is not clear whether Carlson has
assets available to pay the restitution ordered. In addition, Carlson is to have no contact with the investor/victims and he has been barred from selling securities in Delaware.
Securities Commissioner James B. Ropp, who prosecuted the case said, “The Court has sent a strong message that it will not tolerate those who violate State securities laws, especially where Senior Citizens lose their retirement savings to those who would sell them unregistered, worthless securities.”
Dennis Carlson was taken from the courtroom in New Castle Superior Court to begin service
of his sentence.