As it became known on Thursday, a British man Robert Tringham, 64, from Knebworth, Hertfordshire was jailed in the US after being charged with a £4.4m investment fraud, that also include mail and wire fraud. He is blamed for running a Ponzi (pyramid) scheme in which investors were tricked into handing over millons of pounds. Tringham is also charged of avoiding to pay nearly $500,000 in income tax.
The accusers had believed they were to receive high returns on their investments but instead Tringham allegedly used the money for his own benefit. Thus, he used the part of the money for acquiring a home and Land Rover, as the indictment filed by prosecutors in California alleges.
If he would sentenced by the 11 counts against him, he could receive maximum 170 years of imprisonment! Previously, Tringham had been accused of deception, forgery and theft in the UK.
A complaint filed by US regulators in April convicted Tringham of fraudulently raising at least $6.4m from four or more investors since 2006.
One of the clients was promised by Tringham to get returns of 2.5% a month (30% a year), as the US Securities and Exchange Commission reported, claiming also that Tringham repeatedly refused requests from clients to redeem their investments. Tringham is due to appear in the Los Angeles district court on Monday.