Local resident Louis Burke of Elm Street, noted for his attempts to revive the Shakespeare Theatre in town, and recently revealed as one of two bidders for another long vacant property, the Army Plant (formerly Avco) site near the airport, has reported to Stratford police that he was the victim of a major investment fraud.
On April 22, Burke, of Elm St., came to headquarters and told police that he had been fundraising for the Stratford Festival Theatre and had found a party who told him that he had secured $2.5 million in funding from an international financier.
However, as part of the transaction, Burke had to guarantee $300,000 of the fees to the financier.
Burke told police that he agreed to the arrangement and that the transactions began. He further told police that investors had informed him that several fees needed to be transferred to his account and wired out to the financier.
He did this, he said, but recently received a letter from his bank indicating that the transactions were fraudulent and that Burke was now responsible for about $20,500 in funds to the bank.
Mr. Burke indicated also told police that he had received several FBI communications related to the scheme and provided copies to local police of them as well. These appeared to be fraudulent, police said in their report and they advised Burke to take his complaint to the FBI as well and to show the document communications to them.
Burke was unavailable for comment at posting, and Stratford Town Attorney Tim Bishop said this morning that “this is the first I heard it.”