When William Trudeau Jr., was convicted in 2008 on nine felony counts of larceny for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in oil deposits, but not delivering the oil, he faced at least 20 years of jail. He got no jail time on those charges, but he was put on five years of probation.
The judge back in 2008 wanted the victims given their money back, explained State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky, who leads Danbury's prosecutors in Danbury Superior Court. The judge wasn't as interested in jail time as he was in restitution.
"He was interested in the victims, the senior citizens who lost their money," Sedensky said, "A man convicted and jailed isn't able to pay back the victims."
Sedensky said he wanted both, jail time for Trudeau plus restitution.
"What happened is the Danbury State's Attorney ran a criminal case, and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal ran a civil lawsuit," said Assistant Attorney General Tom Saadi, who handled the civil case for Blumenthal. "This case was huge. It ran the I-84 corridor from Danbury, Brookfield and Bethel into Southbury, Oxford and beyond. We had 1,400 people he scammed."
Saadi said he thinks between the criminal and the civil cases, Trudeau paid back nearly $500,000. He said Trudeau did not admit wrong-doing in the civil case, but he pleaded guilty in the criminal case.
"It broke right on Thanksgiving Day weekend," Saadi said. "I came in that Friday and it turned cold. We started getting calls. If it didn't turn cold, we might not have heard about it so early."
Although it looked like the Newtown Oil case was over, Trudeau may have landed himself in new trouble that might violate his probation from the oil case.
Sedensky may get his wish about putting Trudeau behind bars. Trudeau was sentenced for larceny in the Newtown Oil case on Sept. 14, 2008. He was given 20 years in jail, execution suspended, plus five years of probation. The five years of probation started on the sentencing date.
"We'd have to evaluate it," Sedensky said. "There is a real possibility his probation will be violated."
In an unrelated trial, Trudeau was convicted Tuesday in a federal mortgage scam that ran from 2006 to 2010, netting the conspirators $3.5 million in fraudulent loans. He faces more than 30 years in jail on those charges. The question is if he broke any laws in the mortgage case after he was put on probation in August 2008 for the oil case.
Sedensky said if Trudeau broke laws in the mortgage case after starting probation on Sept. 14, 2008, he may have violated his probation on the oil sentence. If that is true, he may owe 20 years in prison.