LOS ANGELES (CN) - The CEO and co-owner of a Diamond Bar investment firm pleaded guilty Monday to two felony counts for running a $49 million Ponzi scheme.
Syed Qaisar Madad pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax fraud, admitting that his day-trading scam cost investors more than $31 million, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Madad, 66, ran his scam for 5½ years through his company, Technology for Telecommunication and Multimedia Inc. He claimed he never lost money in a single day of trading, except for one day in 2006, prosecutors said in the statement.
He was prominent in the Pakistani-American community and claimed to have invented a day-trading system that was "always profitable," prosecutors said in the statement.
Actually, he lost more than $15 million in hid day trades, and spent more than $15 million on himself and his family, despite promising that he would not take any fees or commissions, prosecutors said.
He made about $17.7 million in Ponzi payments.
The scam ended after one of his suckers sued him 2 years ago.
"Prior to and following Madad's arrest in October 2012, pursuant to court-authorized warrants, the government seized a Mercedes-Benz C63, numerous pieces of diamond and other precious gemstone jewelry, and funds that were traceable to investor money," the U.S. Attorney's Office said. "As part of his agreement with the government, Madad has agreed to forfeit his Diamond Bar mansion, the Mercedes-Benz, 68 pieces of jewelry, and other luxury items, including silk and wool handmade oriental carpets. Madad also agreed to pay the IRS approximately $5 million in unpaid taxes for tax years 2006 through 2010."
He faces up to 23 years in federal prison at his June 24 sentencing.
Diamond Bar is a wealthy city east of Los Angeles.
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