United States v. Neil Chandran

Pending Criminal Division Cases

United States v. Neil Chandran
Court Docket No.: 4:22-CR-3077

Court Assigned: This case is assigned to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse, 111 South 18th Plaza, Suite 1152, Omaha, NE 68102.


Latest Updates: Defendant Neil Chandran was ordered to remain detained following a hearing on September 14, 2022.

A status conference has been set for November 15, 2022 at 10:30 am via a telephone conference before Magistrate Judge Cheryl R. Zwart.

Criminal Charges: In an indictment unsealed on June 29, 2022, Neil Chandran, the owner of a group of technology companies (including but not limited to, Free Vi Lab; Studio Vi, Inc.; ViDelivery, Inc.; ViMarket, Inc.; and Skalex USA Inc.), was charged with three counts of wire fraud and two counts of monetary transactions in unlawful proceeds for his involvement in an investment fraud scheme that defrauded more than 10,000 victims of more than $45 million. According to the indictment, from June 2018 through the present, Chandran is alleged to have falsely promised extremely high returns on the premise that one or more of his companies, operated under the banner of ViRSE, was about to be acquired by a consortium of wealthy buyers. The indictment alleges that Chandran provided materially false and misleading information to one individual, “Individual 2,” a then-resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, who passed the information along to another individual, “Individual 1,” a resident of Palm City, Florida.  Individual 1 marketed the investment opportunity to thousands of current and prospective investors through email updates and conference calls under the name “CoinDeal” or “Coin Deal.”  Chandran caused Individual 1 and Individual 2 to make various materially false and misleading representations, including that (a) investors in Chandran’s companies would soon receive extremely high returns when one or more of those companies was purchased by a group of wealthy buyers; (b) investor funds would be used for normal expenses to keep the companies operating until they were purchased, and (c) prominent business figures, including two notable billionaires, were involved in the purchase. 

However, according to the indictment, there was no such buyer group that was about to purchase the companies for the claimed returns; a substantial portion of the funds were misappropriated for other business ventures and the personal benefit of Mr. Chandran and others, including the purchase of luxury cars and real estate; and the two notable billionaires were not involved in purchasing Chandran’s companies. According to the indictment, investors transferred their funds by credit cards, wire transfer, and cryptocurrency payments to accounts in the name of AEO Publishing, Inc.; Banner Co-Op, Inc.; and BannersGo, LLC, from which they were distributed to Mr. Chandran’s companies.

For more information about the charges in this case, please see below:

Indictment
Press Release


Victim Impact Statement:  If you would like to submit a Victim Impact Statement, you may do so by mailing the Victim Impact Statement below (or a letter to the court) to: Victim Witness Unit, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, Room 4416, Washington, DC 20530. You also may submit the Victim Impact Statement via email at Victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov or by fax at: (202) 514-3708. 

Victim Impact Statement (PDF)

The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at VictimAssistance.fraud@usdoj.gov.


Presumption of Innocence: It is important to keep in mind that a criminal indictment is merely an allegation, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and that presumption requires both the court and our office to take certain steps to ensure that justice is served.

Crime Victims’ Rights Act and Right to Retain Counsel: Because charges have been filed in this case in federal court, you also may be entitled to the following rights, according to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, Title 18, United States Code, Section 3771: (1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused; (2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused; (3) The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding; (4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding; (5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case; (6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law; (7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; (8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy; (9) The right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement; and (10) The right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice. The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3771) applies only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged.

Section 3771(c)(2) of this Act requires that we advise you that you have the right to retain counsel. Although the statute specifically sets forth your right to seek advice of an attorney with regard to your rights under the statute, there is no requirement that you retain counsel. The Government may not recommend any specific counsel, nor can the Government (or the Court) pay for counsel to represent you. Government attorneys represent the United States.

If you elect to obtain counsel to represent your interests, please have your attorney notify this office in writing at: U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20530, Attention: Victim Witness Unit; fax: (202) 514-3708; or email: victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov. If you elect not to retain counsel to represent your interests, you do not need to do anything.

Plea Agreements: Please be aware that many criminal cases are resolved by plea agreement between the Department of Justice and the defendant. You should also know that it is not unusual for a defendant to seek to negotiate a plea agreement shortly before trial is scheduled to begin. Plea agreements can be made at any time and as late as the morning of trial, leaving little or no opportunity to provide notice to you of the date and time of the plea hearing. If the court schedules a plea hearing in this case, we will use our best efforts to notify you of available information as soon as practicable. If you want to inform the prosecutor of your views regarding potential plea agreements, or any other aspect of the case, please contact the prosecutor assigned to this case or call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov.

Component: 
Criminal Division
Criminal - Victim Notification Program
Updated September 22, 2022