A 40-year-old man was arrested in California on Friday after allegedly using a fake name and accent as part of a plot to extort more than $2.5 million from victims who believed they had invested in a bank Swiss and other companies.
The alleged scammers returned only about $163,000, some of which came from payments from other victims, according to the US Department of Justice.
Starting in July 2015, Richard Patterson aka Xavier Carter used fictitious companies called Hawaiian Crush, Inc., Aloha Aina, Ltd., Securities and Trust of Switzerland AG, aka FSTS, Red Rock Equity Group and Advance Development Group and bank accounts in Hawaii, Minnesota and South Dakota to anchor the program. Patterson used Xavier Carter’s name and a fake accent to cover up his “criminal history of investment fraud,” according to an Aug. 19 indictment unsealed last week.
Patterson was arrested Feb. 11 in California. Dashawn Hill, 46, and Judy Ramos, 52, all former Hawaii residents, have been charged with conspiracy and wire fraud, and Patterson and Ramos have also been charged with money laundering, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s office.
“Those who take money from investors by promising excellent returns in a short time, with little or no effort to generate such returns, should face serious consequences for their actions,” the prosecutor said. District of Hawaii Clare E. Connors, in a press release.
At no time were Patterson, Hill or Ramos permitted to sell securities, do business in Hawaii, be registered or permitted to perform any of the transactions they had promised investors pursuant to the Deed of Incorporation. charge.
Patterson made a first appearance in court for the Central District of California, according to the statement. Ramos, a current Hawaiian resident, and Hill, who lives in Oklahoma, have not yet been arrested. Hill used Thoroughbred Research and Investments, Inc. to further his bogus professional investment agenda. In 2015 and 2017, he unsuccessfully filed for bankruptcy under Classen Crown Investments Inc.
Ramos used fake companies Aloha Global and Sand and Sky Consulting to push his part of the alleged plot,
The indictment alleges that beginning in July 2015, Patterson, Hill and Ramos implemented an “advanced payment plan.” They would promise returns of 200-1000% on initial investments by setting up “lines of credit” or “non-recourse loans” with the investor’s money supposedly backed by gold or other means. , according to the indictment.
Victim-investors who would hand over money, sometimes up to $200,000, which would allegedly be used to generate much larger sums of money, sometimes in as little as 28 days, according to the indictment.
In one instance, on April 14, 2017, an investor agreed to wire $100,000 to Patterson to invest in Aloha Aina, who would then deposit $300,000 into an account for the investor at Patterson’s fake bank, FSTS, in the 28 days. Twenty-eight days later, the investor was told in a signed memorandum that an additional $700,000 would be deposited, according to the indictment.
Patterson, Hill and Ramos, divided the investors’ money and used it to pay the defendants’ personal expenses, including credit card bills, rent, entertainment and other expenses, none of which were a investment and had no potential to earn the promised returns. to investors, according to the press release.
“Alleged fraudsters have preyed on our communities, targeting trusted families and local business owners for their own selfish gain. The FBI takes financial crimes very seriously and will contribute its considerable resources to hold those who commit fraud accountable,” Steven Merrill, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau’s Honolulu Division, said in a statement.
He urged the community to use the FBI’s whistleblower line at tips.fbi.gov to report fraudulent schemes and scammers.
If convicted, Patterson, Hill and Ramos will each face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count of conspiracy to commit a crime. wire fraud or electronic fraud. Patterson and Ramos face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count of money laundering.
The case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Michael F. Albanese is prosecuting the case.