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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 26, 2019

Founder of Local Technology Company Charged With Operating a $60 Million Investment Fraud

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Orabona (619) 546-7951    

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – April 26, 2019

SAN DIEGO – Jonny Ngo, the former president and chief executive officer of NL Technology, LLC, was arraigned today on a 21-count indictment charging him with wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering in connection with operating a $65 million investment fraud. The hearing took place in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin after the indictment was unsealed.       

According to the indictment, Ngo induced his victims to invest funds in various short-term investment contracts by making false representations, including that: (a) investor money would be used to fund wholesale purchase orders of smartphone screens and other electronic goods; (b) NL Technology was a regular supplier of smartphone screens to a number of buyers, including two buyers who each ordered approximately $2 million of product from NL Technology; (c) all wholesale orders funded by investor money was pre-purchased by NL Technology clients; and (d) the quality of the products and safety of investor funds used to purchase the products was guaranteed by a third-party escrow company. 

The indictment further alleges that Ngo created counterfeit invoices falsely indicating that NL Technology had substantial purchase orders from alleged wholesale companies. The indictment alleges that Ngo also provided false financial statements purportedly certified by an accountant showing NL Technology earned income from its wholesale business totaling $12.5 million in 2015 and $15.4 million in 2016.  Moreover, as alleged, Ngo fabricated bank statements or screenshots from bank statements held in the name of NL Technology with individual line items altered to appear as legitimate wholesale business transactions.  Lastly, Ngo created false checks from wholesale companies allegedly doing business with NL Technology.   

To further his investment fraud, Ngo and others allegedly told investors that they could roll over their investments into future investment contracts with NL Technology, when in fact no such future investments were possible.  Also, Ngo allegedly lulled investors about the continued viability of NL Technology through materially false representations, including that NL Technology had an outstanding purchase order from a smartphone repair company for approximately $300,000, when in fact, no such order existed. 

Instead of investing the funds in the business, the indictment alleges that Ngo converted investor funds to his own personal use and benefit by spending the money on a home, luxury cars and gambling.  As a result of his investment fraud, it is alleged that Ngo induced investors to part with more than $60 million, and ultimately caused millions of dollars in losses.

“Investment fraud has a long-lasting and devastating effect on victims in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer, Jr. “When these schemes are brought to our attention, we will work collaboratively with our law enforcement partners to unravel the fraud and hold those responsible for profiting from it.”

FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner said:  “Mr. Ngo's alleged technology business scheme was, in fact, a plan to deceive investors, luring them into a false sense of security about their investments, falsifying documents to cover the lies and stealing the funds for personal use. The FBI will continue to identify and investigate those who defraud investors. We ask anyone who has information related to investor fraud submit a tip at https://tips.fbi.gov/.”

U.S. Postal Inspection Srevice Inspector in Charge Nichole Cooper stated: “Mr. Ngo is accused of a scheme that separated millions of dollars from consumers who believed they were making legitimate investments.  However, those who commit crimes like this one fail to realize that Postal Inspectors and our federal law enforcement partners will discover these greedy schemes and will bring the culprits to justice for their crimes against unsuspecting investors.”

The Government moved to detain the defendant as a risk of flight.  Judge Dembin set a detention hearing for Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruben B. Brooks. The defendant will remain in custody until the hearing. Judge Dembin also scheduled a motion hearing/trial setting for June 7, 2019 at 11 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller.

DEFENDANT                                                           Case Number: 19CR1391-JM                                

Jonny Ngo                               Age: 32                       San Diego, CA

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 – Wire Fraud

Maximum Penalties: 20 years’ in prison, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341 – Mail Fraud

Maximum Penalties: 20 years’ in prison, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957 – Money Laundering

Maximum Penalties: 10 years’ in prison, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release

AGENCIES

Federal Bureau of Investigation

United States Postal Inspection Service

An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged.  The defendant is presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
CAS19-0426-Ngo
Updated April 26, 2019