FRESNO, Calif. — Janamjot Singh Sodhi, 35, of Fresno, a former investment advisor, pleaded guilty today to four counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud investors, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, from 2005 though September 2011, Sodhi, as owner of Elite Financial Inc., solicited investments from individuals using false pretenses promising various investment opportunities with high rates of return in a relatively short period of time.
Instead of using investors' funds for the purpose claimed, Sodhi used the funds to pay returns to other investors and personal expenses from himself and others.
Sodhi admitted to lulling investors into believing that their funds were secure and being used for their intended purpose.
Sodhi would send false financial statements purportedly showing the investments made on their behalf, while never making investments described on the financial statements.
As investors requested a return of their investments, Sodhi would stall and delay with a variety of false claims.
According to the plea agreement, Sodhi never disclosed to his investors that in January 2006 the New York Stock Exchange permanently debarred him. The California Department of Corporations ordered Sodhi to cease and desist from engaging in the business of investment advisor in California.
The total losess attributable to his scheme were approximately $2.3 million.
Sodhi is scheduled to be sentenced on April 29, 2013. The maximum statutory penalties are 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each mail fraud and wire fraud count, and up to three years of supervised release.