Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Extradited Scammer Who Admitted Peddling Bogus Multi-Level Early Mortgage Payoff Scheme Gets 100 Months

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Las Vegas, Nevada):

  • A former resident of Las Vegas who defrauded 17 individuals of almost $1.5 million in an investment fraud and marketing scheme involving early mortgage payoffs, was sentenced [] to just over eight years in prison for his guilty pleas to fraud and tax evasion charges, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

    “Mr. Maharaj repeatedly solicited victims through fraud and deception knowing that they would never receive the monetary rewards he pitched,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “Although he tried to avoid facing the reality of a conviction by fleeing to Fiji and causing the United States to extradite him, he was eventually brought to justice and will spend much of the next decade behind bars.”

    Aneal Maharaj, 65, currently in custody, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan to 100 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,473,111 in restitution. Maharaj received a greater sentence because of the significant loss amount and number of victims, and because he obstructed justice by failing to appear for trial in the case and fled to Fiji to avoid prosecution. Maharaj pleaded guilty on Oct. 18, 2012, to one count of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, one count of tax evasion, six counts of bank fraud, and one count of making a false declaration in a bankruptcy petition.

    Beginning in about 1990 and continuing to about October 2004, Maharaj operated a multi-level marketing program from Las Vegas wherein he promised persons that they could pay off a 30-year mortgage in five years or less by investing and becoming franchise owners in a business he called “PowerNet Marketing Systems,” and a “home loan plan” he called Systematic Mortgage Amortization Reduction Technology (SMART).

    The system required the investors to recruit additional persons into the program, which Maharaj told them would entitle them to substantial commissions and income. Maharaj knew that no individual had ever paid off a 30-year mortgage in five years or less using the SMART plan, and that he had no intention of paying the commissions and income to the participants.

    At least 17 individuals each invested a minimum of $25,000 and up to $500,000 with Maharaj to become franchise owners in his fraudulent marketing program. The plea agreement states that Maharaj convinced one victim to sign over his interest in his $100,000 life insurance benefit.

No comments: