FBI agents arrested a Los Angeles man for allegedly running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that primarily targeted the Persian-Jewish community, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Shervin Davatgarzadeh, who is also known as Shervin Neman, 31, was indicted on two counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud, for which he could serve a maximum of 20 years in prison, The Los Angeles Times reported.
His victims allegedly lost more than $3 million.
He was taken into custody Friday morning.
Federal prosecutors say than Neman claimed to be a successful investor while actually running the Ponzi scheme from the summer of 2010 to June of 2012, according to The Los Angeles Times.
He solicited money from investors “with false claims that their money would be used to purchase foreclosed real estate and stocks, including pre-initial public offering shares,” the press release said.
Instead, prosecutors say he just took the money for himself or repaid earlier victims.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against Neman and his firm, Neman Financial Inc., in April 2012, according to the paper. A month later, he allegedly solicited $2 million from another investor to pay his lawyers and earlier victims.