Washington: An Indian-origin tech entrepreneur, Neil Chandran, has been arrested in the US for his involvement in an investment scheme. The culprit has cheated more than 10,000 people of over $45 million.
He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and was arrested on Wednesday in Los Angeles, the Department of Justice said.
According to the indictment, Mr Chandran is the owner of several technology companies that he used to cheat investors and always made a fake promise to provide high returns through his companies operated under the banner of “ViRSE,” which was about to be acquired by a consortium of wealthy buyers.
Mr Chandran’s companies—which included Free Vi Lab, Studio Vi Inc., ViDelivery Inc, ViMarket Inc, and Skalex USA Inc, among others—developed virtual-world technologies, including their own cryptocurrency, for use in the companies’ own metaverse.
Mr Chandran had made it his habit to select several individuals as their investors, who would receive a high return after the purchase of one or more companies by a group of wealthy buyers. He was cheating others by sending fake representatives to them.
The fact was surprising. There was no such buyer who was ready to buy the companies for the claimed returns; a huge chunk of the funds; a substantial portion of the funds were used to go to other business ventures and the personal accounts of Mr Chandran and his associates. There were no billionaires involved in purchasing Mr Chandran’s companies.
Mr Chandran has been involved in several fraud cases and monetary transactions in a criminal way. If convicted, he may face 20 years of imprisonment for each of the wire fraud counts and up to 10 years in prison for each count of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.