A Henderson man has been indicted for allegedly defrauding 39 people and used online dating websites and Craigslist to meet his victims.
The U.S. Attorney's Office reported that Sean Christopher Sladek, 39, had falsely represented himself as a successful securities trader and investor. He was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for allegedly stealing $1.7 million from his victims.
Sladek is charged with two counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering, and criminal forfeiture. Sladek is scheduled to appear a judge April 21 for an arraignment and plea. Sladek has been in federal custody since March 31, when he was arrested by the FBI at McCarran Airport.
According to the indictment, from about January 2011 to March 2016, Sladek allegedly solicited people, including some he met through social media sites, such as online dating platforms Tinder and Bumble, and through Craigslist, for investment funds. Sladek falsely told the victims and potential victims that he was a successful securities trader and investor, and that he would invest any monies they gave him to earn positive returns on their investments, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported.
In fact, Sladek was not a successful investor or securities trader, and used the funds he received from the victims for gambling, personal expenses, and to enrich himself, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported. When the victim investors complained to Sladek about non-payment of investment returns, Sladek gave numerous false excuses and reasons for why they had not been paid, according to the indictment.
The indictment states that on May 10, 2013, and Sept. 12, 2014, Sladek received $100,000 from one victim in California and $40,000 from another victim in South Carolina, respectively, and, within one day of receiving those funds, he deposited cashier’s checks for almost the same amounts into two casino accounts in Las Vegas. Sladek did not pay investment returns to any known victim, and wrongfully obtained approximately $1.7 million from about 39 known victims.
If convicted, Sladek faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on each wire fraud count and up to 10 years in prison on each money laundering count, as well as fines of up to $250,000 on each count.
If you believe you are a victim of this offense, please contact your local FBI field office.