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Fourth echelon

Investment company executives indicted in $1.5B Las Vegas Ponzi scheme

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LAS VEGAS, July 9 (UPI) -- Three top executives of a Las Vegas-based investment firm were indicted for their role in an alleged $1.5 billion Ponzi fraud scheme that targeted thousands of Japanese investors.

Edwin Fujinaga, 68, president of MRI International Inc.; Junzo Suzuki, 66, the company's vice president for Asia Pacific; and his son Paul Suzuki, 36, general manager for Japan operations, each were charged with eight counts of mail fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. Fujinaga also was charged with three counts of money laundering.


Prosecutors said the men are accused of using a Nevada corporation to scheme money by telling thousands of overseas investors their investments would be safely held and managed by an independent, third-party escrow agent.



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