CHICAGO (CN) – A former currency trader has been extradited from Peru and now faces charges that he defrauded 400 million investors worldwide of $5 million, the Department of Justice announced.
U.S. citizen Jeffery Lowrance is accused of obtaining more than $25 million through his New Zealand-based investment group, First Capital Savings and Loan. He falsely claimed that investors would be paid as much as four to seven percent interest per month on their investments, the indictment alleges.
Lowrance allegedly invested very little of the money, using most to pay for both personal and company expenses which he covered up through Ponzi-type payments to investors and fraudulent account balances.
The scheme collapsed in 2009, resulting in $5 million in losses. Lowrance was arrested in Lima, Peru.
Each fraud court carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus mandatory restitution.
Both the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have filed separate civil enforcement actions against Lowrance, who will be held in custody until a July 25th detention hearing in Chicago.