FBI Arrested Ponzi Suspect Aboard Jet Preparing For Flight To ‘Overseas’ Destination Last Month; Tarakeswar Chaudhary Taken Off Emirates Airlines Plane

Federal agents and airport police have arrested a man suspected of operating a Ponzi scheme and fleecing investors in a fraudulent Google stock offering, the FBI said.

Tarakeswar “Tarak” Chaudhary, 49, of Tustin, Calif., was arrested last month at San Francisco International Airport after he boarded an Emirates Airlines flight bound for an “overseas” destination, the FBI said.

U.S. Marshals now have returned Chaudhary from San Francisco to Santa Ana to face the charges.

Emirates Airlines is wholly owned by the government of Dubai and flies to 100 cities in 62 countries across the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Europe, the Far East, South America and North America, according to its website.

“Chaudhary was removed from an Emirates Airlines flight bound overseas at the time of his arrest,” the FBI said.

Chaudhary, 49, operated a company known as Transpacific Intertrade Inc. He was charged with mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., on Dec. 7.

“[He] defrauded victims by promising to invest their money in initial public offerings and secondary share offerings by companies such as Google, Inc., when in fact, no such investments were made,” the FBI and Acting U.S. Attorney George S. Cardona said.

At least three victims “are believed to have provided over $3 million to Chaudhary,” the FBI said.

As part of the scheme, Chaudhary mailed forged statements on Morgan Stanley letterhead to at least one victim from whom Chaudhary obtained $1 million,” the FBI said. “The forged statement indicated that stock purchases had been made through a Morgan Stanley account, when in fact, no such account existed.

In make investors feel safe, Chaudhary “lulled” them by fabricating “the identity of a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley,” the FBI said.

“Chaudhary told at least one victim that his investment of $995,000 was gone and that he had also defrauded at least 20 people out of a total of $10 million or more,” the FBI said. “Chaudhary recently admitted to another victim that he was running a Ponzi scheme and that he had not invested any of the victims’ money.”

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