Chicago Investment Manager Indicted on Fraud Charges for Allegedly Swindling Money From Women He Met Online
CHICAGO — A Chicago investment manager has been indicted for allegedly swindling money from women he met through online dating services.
MARCUS BEAM, who owned and controlled various companies in Chicago and the suburbs, exaggerated his financial success and the expected return on investments to fraudulently obtain money from women he met online and other investors, including a family member and a former employee, according to an indictment returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Beam falsely claimed that their funds would be invested in popular stocks such as Uber and Lyft, and other investment products such as gold, art, and real estate, the indictment states. In reality, Beam spent the money for his own personal benefit, including rent, auto loans, and purchases at retail stores such as Walmart and Ikea, the indictment states. The fraud scheme began in 2015 and continued until October of last year, resulting in a loss to investors of at least $500,000, the indictment states.
The indictment charges Beam, 49, of Woodridge, with nine counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Arraignment in federal court has not yet been scheduled.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Craig Goldberg, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago; Jeffrey A. Monhart, Regional Director of the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration; and Tanya Solov, Director of the Illinois Securities Department of the Illinois Secretary of State. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Stern.
Valuable assistance has been provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which previously filed a civil complaint against Beam.
According to the indictment, Beam held himself out as the owner of a Chicago investment company called Chase Private Equity LLC, which was also known as New World Capital LLC. Beam also owned and operated other companies, including a Naperville-based virtual reality company called VR 360 LLC, and Imex Energy Inc., a Bolingbrook-based brokerage firm that claimed to sell retail electricity for third parties, the indictment states.
The charges allege that Beam attempted to conceal his fraud scheme by furnishing victims with account statements that misrepresented the value of their funds. Beam also made false lulling statements to investors for why their money could not be paid back as requested, the indictment states. Some of the money allegedly misappropriated by Beam came from investors’ retirement accounts.
Each count in the indictment is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The public is reminded that an indictment 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.