International businessman gets 50 years in jail in the US to lure Japanese investors into a $ 1.5 billion Ponzi scheme and waste money on mansions, luxury cars & private jets
- Edwin Fujinaga, 72, was sentenced to 50 years in Las Vegas on Thursday
- He was the owner of the former medical billing company MRI International
- Promised interest for 10,000 Japanese investors, but ran like a Ponzi plan
- Execs used new investor money to repay previous investors and steal the rest
- Fujinaga used funds for luxury cars, townhouses, alimony and credit card accounts
Edwin Fujinaga, 72, was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison on Thursday
The former head of an investment firm in Tokyo and Las Vegas has been sentenced to 50 years in a US prison for bending thousands of Japanese victims in what prosecutors call an international Ponzi plan of $ 1.5 billion.
Edwin Fujinaga, 72, argued in vain that he simply lost control of the situation at MRI International, the former medical collection company he owned before being sued in 2015.
Fujinaga, an American citizen, participated in the plan to lure some 10,000 Japanese investors, claiming that he could pay interest by buying American medical debts cheaply and then receiving full compensation from insurance companies.
Instead, the company used part of the new investments to repay previous investors, while Fujinaga spent much of the money on luxury cars, private jets, credit card accounts, alimony, child support, a $ 1.9 million Las Vegas golf course mansion and homes in Hawaii and Beverly Hills, California, according to court documents.
Fujinaga used part of the scams to purchase this $ 2.3 million golf course association in the exclusive Tournament Hills of Las Vegas, as well as homes in Hawaii and Beverly Hills
Chief District District Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed as offending Edwin Fujinaga & apologies for what prosecutors ranked among & # 39; s country's largest-ever fraud cases.
She condemned the staff member who had fallen into disgrace until what died behind bars.
The judge also ordered Fujinaga to pay nearly $ 1.3 billion in restitution, although a public prosecutor could never pay it.
Navarro oversaw the Las Vegas process, where a jury found the former head of MRI International Inc. was guilty of 20 cases of fraud and money laundering.
Fujinaga was convicted in November, when judges needed less than three hours to pass their verdict after a five-week trial period.
Fujinaga was accused of over $ 1 billion in investments from 2000 to 2013 by more than 10,000 Japanese residents who had transferred funds from Japan to bank accounts in Las Vegas under Fujinaga's control.
Fujinaga was forced to sell his 7,666 square-meter Las Vegas house (above) in the face of a SEC judgment for $ 580 million. The sale closed in May of last year
Investors were told that they were purchasing claims from a medical collection company.
Prosecutors said when the Japanese government revoked MRI & # 39; s securities trading license in April 2013, the company owed more than $ 1.5 billion in investors.
The case also takes into account Junzo Suzuki, formerly Executive Vice President of MRI for Asia Pacific, and his son Paul Suzuki, formerly the company's general manager for operations in Japan.
Junzo Suzuki a Japanese citizen, and Paul Suzuki a double citizen, the indictment said. Both are held pending trail after their extradition from Japan in April.
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