Pearson Found Guilty in Fraud Case

Christopher Pearson, the former Mashantucket Pequot tribal official convicted of defrauding investors in a Honduran resort project that never materialized, was sentenced today to 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny also ordered Pearson to pay restitution to his victims.

According to evidence presented during a trial, Pearson, a former deputy chief operating officer for the tribe, collected $280,000 from a number of investors, promising to use it to purchase land on the Honduran island of Roatan. He claimed that the land would be used for a resort and casino project that the tribe was sponsoring.

However, Pearson never purchased property with the money and instead used it to buy boats, cars, vacations and improvements to his waterfront home on Roatan.

In November, a jury found Pearson guilty of eight counts of wire fraud stemming from the development scheme. Following the convictions, the Mashantucket Pequot Council of Elders banished Pearson from the tribe.

In a separate case heard in tribal court, six plaintiffs, including three tribal members, alleged Pearson had defrauded them of hundreds of thousands of dollars in connection with a Roatan real estate transaction.

A settlement reached in that case was sealed by the tribal court.

By Brian Hallenbeck


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