The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday it has charged a married couple over an alleged multimillion-dollar scheme involving semi-submersible boating vessels.
Curtiss E. Jackson and Jamey Denise Jackson, face securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy charges, according to the DOJ.
They respectively served as CEO and president of Semisub Inc., a Hawaii-based shipbuilding company at the center of the alleged 10-year scheme, the agency said.
The DOJ claimed the Jacksons "engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain money by deceiving purchasers of Semisub securities about the company’s business and operations, including its revenue and expenses."
They "allegedly falsely told investors that a purported prototype vessel, dubbed ‘Semisub One,’ was ‘weeks’ or ‘months’ away from beginning operations," the DOJ said. Accusations have also been leveled against the couple about falsely claiming "marquee government agencies" and a "well-known private equity firm" had made deals with them to produce another fleet for the price of $32 million each.
Over the course of the alleged scheme, they managed to get over $28 million from hundreds of investors, according to the DOJ.
The Jacksons are accused of using money they raised from investors to buy luxury homes, vacations and a car. They also allegedly used the money to pay for psychics and marijuana. Other alleged misuses of the funds included "cash withdrawals for personal use" and paying off personal credit card bills, according to the DOJ.
Additionally, despite reportedly being prohibited from selling securities in Pennsylvania and California in the 2000s, Curtiss Jackson and Semisub allegedly continued to do so, the DOJ alleged.
Curtiss and Jamey Jackson both had initial appearances this week in court, with his taking place in Hawaii and hers in Connecticut.
If convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison for each count, the DOJ said.