TACOMA MAN INDICTED FOR WIRE FRAUD IN FAILED INVESTMENT SCHEME
Promised Investors Good Returns with Some Profits Going to Charity
JOHN MIN, 36, of Tacoma, Washington, was arrested last night following a grand jury indictment for ten counts of Wire Fraud in connection with a fraudulent investment scheme. In March 2005, MIN opened DIME Capital LLC and DIME Financial Group LLC, which operated under the business name DIME FX. MIN used fraudulent materials to pitch investments to churches, charitable givers and senior citizens. Between 2005 and 2008, MIN collected more than $6 million from investors or charitable givers. Investors were told the money would be used to invest in currency trading. MIN touted good rates of return and claimed a history of successful currency trading. In fact, MIN had only lost money on currency trading.
MIN will make his initial appearance on the indictment at 2:30 this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida on the 12th floor of the federal courthouse at 700 Stewart Street in Seattle.
According to the indictment, MIN made numerous false representations to investors, including that he had a special license for futures and commodities trading, that his funds had been established since 2000 and that he had made strong returns on investments. None of these things were true. MIN provided quarterly statements to investors with falsified information on returns.
In 2007, according to the indictment, MIN established Dime Foundation and made various representations to charitable givers, including that all the funds raised would to “to microloans for the poor.” MIN promised donors that “100 percent of your funds will go directly to people in need.” In fact the funds were used for his foreign currency trading and to pay foundation expenses.
In all MIN raised approximately $6.4 million from more than 60 investors and charitable contributors. MIN lost approximately $5.7 million in the currency trading, and spent the rest to pay off early investors, and for his personal benefit. MIN used the money to make a documentary movie, for buying a new Mercedes and providing private schooling for his children.
Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also filed charges against MIN today. Additional information on the SEC charges will be available on their web site at http://www.sec.gov/news/press.shtml.