Defendants GEDREY THOMPSON, SEZZIE GOODLUCK, and DEAN LEWIS, were named in an indictment relating to GTF ENTERPRISES, INC

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of three individuals charged with operating a fraudulent investment company based out of lower Manhattan. Defendants GEDREY THOMPSON, SEZZIE GOODLUCK, and DEAN LEWIS, were named in the indictment relating to GTF ENTERPRISES, INC., a phony investment company created by Thompson.[1] According to documents filed in court, from 2003 through 2009 THOMPSON operated a fraudulent investment scheme through his "investment" company, GTF Enterprises, which in reality made no investments. THOMPSON, with the assistance of GOODLUCK and LEWIS, managed to recruit more than 20 investors through the use of misrepresentations and falsified documents. In total, over $800,000 was stolen from those who invested with GTF Enterprises.

"THOMPSON exploited and preyed upon people in his community who trusted him," said District Attorney Vance. "The defendant then disguised this fraud by sending victims phony financial statements, which falsely reassured investors that their money was not only safe, but growing."

GTF Enterprises was located at 140 Broadway and was described in its widely-disseminated brochures as a leverage company specializing in options and commodities - a company that guaranteed investors' principle, minimized market risks, and promised interest rates that were significantly higher than the rates offered by major banks. However, the office was nothing more than a "virtual office" that gave the appearance of a legitimate investment company.

According to documents filed in court, THOMPSON falsely told many investors that he had an extensive background in the financial industry, claiming 10 years of experience as a successful Wall Street trader. In fact, none of the defendants were licensed to deal in securities. THOMPSON and LEWIS disseminated the GTF brochures to investors, and GOODLUCK, a teller at a bank, even used her position at the bank to lure people into "investing" with GTF Enterprises, stating that GTF offered a more lucrative investment than anything her bank could offer.

THOMPSON, who is a Jamaican national, specifically sought out investors who originally were from Jamaica or other Caribbean islands and now living in the New York area. He boasted to some that GTF was "minority owned for minorities," further exploiting their trust. Some victims were told that they were the "select" investors because of their shared heritage with THOMPSON.

To give the scheme the air of legitimacy, investors were given contracts to sign and on a regular basis phony statements were mailed to them depicting their non-existent investments. The statements always showed a gain, never a loss, causing the investors to mistakenly believe that their money was not only safe, but actually generating significant returns each quarter.

In reality, THOMPSON used the money for personal gain, including extensive travel. More than $70,000 was withdrawn from ATMs alone, including ATM withdrawals made in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Nearly $400,000 was taken out in teller withdrawals, and $15,000 was spent on hotels, restaurants, and travel expenses. Investor money was even used for church donations and parking tickets. Both LEWIS and GOODLUCK also profited from the scheme in the form of either commissions earned from luring in investors or direct cash withdrawals of investors' money from the GTF account.

Some of the investors include a kindergarten teacher, a nurse, a court officer, a home health care attendant, and several retirees. The investor group also included military personnel who invested money earned from their service while stationed in Iraq. Many investors lost thousands; some lost their entire life savings.

The case was handled by Assistant District Attorney Frank Mazzarelli, of the Office's Major Economic Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Richard Weber and Deputy Bureau Chiefs Micki Shulman and Polly Greenberg. Assistant District Attorney Gilda Mariani, Chief of the Money Laundering and Tax Crimes Unit, Investigator Gerald Bergold of the District Attorney's Investigation Bureau, and Paralegal Ellen Sise assisted. Financial Analyst Mary Archa also assisted in the investigation under the supervision of Chief Frank Puma.

The District Attorney thanked the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Regional Office, for its participation in this joint investigation, specifically Ken C. Joseph, Assistant Regional Director; Lee S. Bickley, Branch Chief; and Cynthia A. Matthews, Senior Counsel who handled the parallel civil action filed against defendants THOMPSON, LEWIS, and GOODLUCK.

The District Attorney announced the indictment of all three individuals. Defendant THOMPSON remains a fugitive.


Defendant information:

GEDREY THOMPSON, 12/28/72
Last known address: 185 Erasmus Street
Brooklyn, NY 11226

Charges:

* Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, 3 counts, a class C felony
* Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, 6 counts, a class D felony
* Securities Fraud, 9 counts, a class E felony
* Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony
* Forgery in the Second Degree, 11 counts, a class D felony
* Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony
* Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree, a class D felony
* False Returns; Personal Income and Earnings Tax, a class E felony

SEZZIE GOODLUCK, 11/1/76
154 Rockaway Pkwy
Brooklyn, NY 11212

Charges:

* Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, 2 counts, a class D felony
* Securities Fraud, 2 counts, a class E felony
* Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony

DEAN LEWIS, 4/26/73
26 Hoitsma Ct.
Fair Lawn, NJ, 07410

Charges:

* Securities Fraud, 4 counts, a class E felony
* Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony
* Forgery in the Second Degree, a class D felony

A class C felony is punishable by up to 5 to 15 years in prison, a class D felony is punishable by up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison and a class E felony is punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.


[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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