BOSTON – The owner of several Boston-based investment companies pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to operating a Ponzi-like fraud scheme.
Tanmaya Kabra, 27, pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Aug. 30, 2021.
Kabra conducted business through a company called LaunchByte.io LLC and several affiliated entities. He held himself out to investors as a successful serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and angel investor in start-up companies. Offering lucrative and low or no-risk returns on investments, Kabra lured investors with representations that their funds would be used to foster the growth and development of start-up companies, in order to prepare those companies for sale or for other legitimate business opportunities. In reality, Kabra used the money that he received from investors to pay off existing debts to prior investors in his scheme and to fund his lavish personal expenses, including using more than $200,000 of fraudulently obtained funds to purchase a power boat.
As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Kabra admitted to victimizing more than 10 individuals who suffered more than $1.5 million in losses as a result of the scheme.
The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The Securities & Exchange Commission provided valuable assistance in this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Looney and James B. Herbert of Mendell’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.