Las Vegas man arrested for alleged $45M investment fraud scheme
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Las Vegas man was arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles for an alleged investment scheme that defrauded 10,000 people for more than $45 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Neil Chandran, 50, of Las Vegas is accused of using the group of technology companies that he owned to defraud investors my falsely promising extremely high returns. According to a release, Chandran claimed that one or more of his companies was going to be acquired a group of wealthy buyers.
Chandran’s companies, Free Vi Lab, Studio Vi Inc., ViDelivery Inc., ViMarket Inc., and Skalex USA Inc., among others - developed virtual technologies including their own cryptocurrency, which was used in the companies’ own metaverse.
The indictment alleges that Chandran caused others to make misleading claims to investors, including that investors would receive extremely high returns once one of the companies was purchased, investor funds would be used to keep the company afloat until it was purchased, and that two billionaires would be involved in the purchase.
According to the indictment, there was no such buyer group that was about to purchase the companies for the claimed returns. The indictment also alleges that a ‘substantial’ portion of the investor funds were misappropriated, and used for other business ventures and the purchase of luxury cars and real estate.
Chandran is charged with three counts of wire fraud and two counts of of engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each wire fraud charge and up to 10 years for each of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
The indictment says that 100 different assets, like bank accounts, real estate and luxury vehicles, including 39 Tesla vehicles, are subject to forfeiture as proceeds of the fraud.
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