Technology company owner arrested for alleged $ 45 million investment fraud scheme involving more than 10,000 victims | OPA

A Nevada man was arrested today in Los Angeles for an alleged investment fraud scheme that defrauded more than 10,000 victims with more than $ 45 million. A federal grand jury in Nebraska County earlier returned an indictment on June 14 against the man, which was printed today in Omaha.

According to the indictment, 50-year-old Neil Chandran from Las Vegas owned a group of technology companies that he used in a scheme to defraud investors, falsely promising extremely high returns on the assumption that one or more of his companies operate under the flag. of ViRSE was about to be acquired by a consortium of wealthy buyers. Chandran companies – including Free Vi Lab, Studio Vi Inc., ViDelivery Inc., ViMarket Inc. and Skalex USA Inc., among others, have developed virtual world technologies, including their own cryptocurrency, for use in the companies’ own metaverse. The indictment alleges that Chandran has led others to make various materially false and misleading statements to investors, including that (a) investors in Chandran companies will soon receive extremely high returns when one or more of these companies are acquired by a group of wealthy buyers, (b) the investors’ funds will be used for normal costs to maintain the companies until they are acquired, and (c) prominent business figures, including two billionaires, have been involved in the purchase. In fact, according to the indictment, there was no such group of buyers who were about to buy the companies for the requested returns; a significant part of the funds was misappropriated for other business ventures and personal gain of Chandran and others, including the purchase of luxury cars and real estate; and there were no prominent billionaires involved in buying Chandran’s companies.

Chandran is charged with three counts of wire fraud and two counts of involvement in money transactions involving property derived from criminal origin. If convicted, Chandran faces 20 years in prison on each of the fraud charges and up to 10 years in prison on each charge of engaging in illegal money transactions. A federal district court judge will determine each sentence after taking into account U.S. Penal Guidelines and other legal factors.

The indictment also alleges that 100 different assets – bank accounts, real estate and luxury vehicles, including 39 Tesla vehicles – are subject to confiscation as proceeds of fraud. U.S. marshals and the FBI confiscated most of the assets pending a criminal case.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polit, Jr. of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division, and Executive Assistant Director Stephen D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington office made the announcement.

The FBI Field Office in Washington is investigating the case. Significant assistance was also provided by FBI field offices in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and Omaha.

Assistant Chief William E. Johnston and forensic lawyer Tian Huang of the Criminal Fraud Division are prosecuting the case. Senior political adviser Darin McCullough and forensic lawyer Sarah Rössler of the money laundering and asset recovery department of the crime department are involved in the confiscation. U.S. Attorney’s Offices for Nebraska, Nevada, and Central California counties have provided valuable assistance.

All investors who are victims of this fraud are encouraged to visit the website https://www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/united-states-v-chandran to identify potential victims and learn more about their rights. as victims, including the opportunity to submit a declaration of the victim’s impact.

An indictment is simply an indictment and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

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