LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — One Las Vegas man has been arrested after an alleged fraud scheme that defrauded over 10,000 people more than $45 million.
Neil Chandran, 50, was arrested in Los Angeles on three counts of wire fraud and two counts of engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property.
According to the United States Department of Justice, if convicted Chandran faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the wire fraud counts and up to 10 years in prison for each count of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
Chandran companies, including Free Vi Lab, Studio Vi Inc., ViDelivery Inc., ViMarket Inc., Skalex USA Inc., and more created virtual world technologies and their own cryptocurrency for use in their metaverse, prosecutors said.
According to the DOJ, the indictment alleges Chandran caused others to create false and misleading representations to investors through the following claims:
- investors in Chandran’s companies would soon receive extremely high returns when one or more of those companies was purchased by a group of wealthy buyers
- investor funds would be used for normal expenses to keep the companies operating until they were purchased
- prominent business figures, including two billionaires, were involved in the purchase.
The indictment also states that 39 Tesla cars and 100 different assets are subject to forfeiture as proceeds of the fraud.
Those who may have been impacted are encouraged to identify themselves online at justice.gov.