Man Indicted for Marketing Fraud Scheme
Las Vegas, Nev. - A Las Vegas man has been charged in U.S. District Court with fraud for promising individuals they could become wealthy through a home loan marketing business, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
ANEAL V. MAHARAJ, aka Neal Maharaj, age 57, of Las Vegas, was indicted yesterday by the Federal Grand Jury on two counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. If convicted, he is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
The Indictment alleges that MAHARAJ controlled three corporations in Nevada: "First Nevada Bancorp," "PowerNet Marketing Systems, Inc.," and "Smart Financial Systems, LTD." From approximately June 1995 to October 2004, MAHARAJ allegedly devised a scheme to obtain money and property by false and fraudulent pretenses by promising individuals they could pay off a 30-year home loan in five years or less without spending any money. MAHARAJ called the business "PowerNet," and referred to the home loan plan as Systematic Mortgage Amortization Reduction Technology (SMART).
MAHARAJ recruited individuals to participate in PowerNet's SMART plan and falsely told them they could earn substantial commissions and income from recruiting others into the SMART plan. MAHARAJ knew that no individual had ever paid off a 30-year mortgage in five years or less using the SMART plan, and that he had no intention of paying the commissions and income to the participants. MAHARAJ also allegedly told the participants that the commissions were distributed by an independent financial institution, First Nevada Bancorp, when MAHARAJ knew that he controlled First Nevada Bancorp.
Specifically, the Indictment alleges that between approximately March 2000 and February 2004, MAHARAJ made false promises to five individuals to induce them to invest more than $760,000 in PowerNet.
MAHARAJ was summoned, and is scheduled to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge on September 23, 2005, at 8:30 a.m. for an Initial Appearance and Arraignment.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents with the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, and United States Postal Inspection Service and Investigators with the Nevada Secretary of State Securities Division, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Pugh.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.