New York man pleads guilty to role in yacht club fraud

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A New York man has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme that defrauded at least a dozen people who thought they were investing in a yacht sharing club.

Federal prosecutors in Connecticut say 43-year-old Thomas Heaphy Jr., of East Moriches, New York, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Authorities say Heaphy and another person told investors their money would be used to develop and fund the Waters Club, a membership-based “time share” club with a fleet of yachts that members jointly owned and could use for yachting vacations.

They solicited almost $1.3 million.

Prosecutors say instead, Heaphy and his co-conspirator kept much of the money and Waters Club lacked the capital to develop the business. Heaphy’s gain from the scheme was more than $300,000.

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