FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Catherine Lu, Public Information Officer
(702) 486-6982 / 334-7953
(Carson City, NV; March 4, 2013) – An investigation by Secretary of State Ross Miller’s Securities Division of a Las Vegas man who defrauded multiple investors in a defunct real estate development was sentenced today to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution. Jean Marc Eljwaidi pled guilty to wire fraud in August 2012 and will surrender to authorities in June to begin his federal prison sentence.
Secretary of State investigators arrested Eljwaidi on July 29, 2009 as he returned to Las Vegas from an overseas flight, on charges of elder exploitation for allegedly bilking investors of nearly $400,000. Although charges were dropped for this particular offense after Eljwaidi repaid a significant portion to the investors, additional charges relating to other investors were brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Eljwaidi collected millions of dollars from investors from November 2008 to June 2009 for his proposed real estate development on the Las Vegas Beltway, but instead used that money to fund his extravagant lifestyle. Eljwaidi knew that the project could not be completed, but continued to collect investments for the project. Ejwaidi provided the victim investors with promissory notes and promised to return their investments with an approximately 25- to 75-percent profit. The loss to the victim investors was approximately $1.8 million.
The United States Attorney for the District of Nevada was the prosecuting agency for the case.
Secretary Miller urges investors to learn the warning signs of investment fraud and independently verify any investment opportunity, as well as the background of the person and company offering the investment. “Investors should report any suspicion of investment fraud to the Securities Division.”
Additional information on how to protect yourself from investment fraud is available on the Secretary of State’s website, www.nvsos.gov. The Securities Division’s telephone number is (702) 486-2440.
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