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Press Release

Serial Fraudster Sentenced for Role in Multiple Investment Fraud Schemes

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A California man previously extradited from Mexico was sentenced yesterday to 4 years in prison for his role in two high-yield investment fraud schemes in which he and his co-conspirators defrauded elderly and other vulnerable victims out of millions of dollars.     

According to court documents, Daniel Thomas Broyles Sr., aka Dan Thomas, 66, of Malibu, participated in a high-yield investment fraud scheme involving a sham company named Niyato Industries Inc. (Niyato). Broyles conspired with Niyato’s CEO, Robert Leslie Stencil, 66, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and others to defraud Niyato investors. Together, Broyles, Stencil, and others falsely portrayed Niyato as a leader in electric vehicle manufacturing and converting vehicles to run on compressed natural gas. In reality, Broyles knew, or intentionally avoided learning, that Niyato was merely a sham company that lacked any operational facilities or proprietary technology and virtually all investor funds were being disbursed among the co-conspirators and not used to promote Niyato’s business. In June 2016, after Broyles learned that federal law enforcement agents were investigating Niyato, he relocated to Mexico. When, in August 2016, he learned that he had been indicted, Broyles moved to a new address in Mexico and began using the alias “Daniel Cruz Torrez” to hide from federal law enforcement agents and obstruct the federal government’s prosecution of him.

Broyles also participated in a second high-yield investment fraud involving EarthWater Limited (EarthWater). Broyles conspired with EarthWater’s CEO, Cengiz Jan Comu, 63, of Dallas, and others to sell EarthWater stock. Broyles and others made numerous false and misleading representations, including that EarthWater used the money raised from victim investors to develop and operate the company’s business. In truth, Broyles, Comu, and their co-conspirators had agreed to use the invested victim funds largely for their personal benefit.

Broyles was extradited from Mexico in March 2022. In June 2022, Broyles pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, and one count of money laundering in connection with the Niyato scam. Broyles also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with the EarthWater fraud.

Seven other defendants have previously been convicted in connection with the Niyato scam, including Stencil, who was convicted following a three-week jury trial and sentenced to 12 years and three months in prison. 

Eleven other defendants have pleaded guilty in connection with the EarthWater fraud, including Comu, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dena J. King for the Western District of North Carolina, U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton for the Northern District of Texas, Inspector in Charge Tommy Coke of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Atlanta Division, and Inspector in Charge Eric Shen of the USPIS Criminal Investigations Group made the announcement.

Mexican officials provided significant assistance in the extradition of Broyles to the United States. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs also provided substantial assistance in securing the arrest and extradition of Broyles.

USPIS investigated the case. The U.S. Marshals Service transported Broyles from Mexico to the United States.

Trial Attorney Christopher Fenton of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting both cases. Trial Attorney Theodore Kneller of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Walters for the Northern District of Texas are also prosecuting the EarthWater case.

Updated January 5, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-9