The president of an alleged investment firm pleaded guilty to a charge of wire fraud arising out of an investment fraud scheme. Telson Okhio, the president of Ohio Group Holdings Inc. faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
In a three month span in April 2009, Okhio posed as an investment adviser, soliciting $5 million from an investor in Hawaii. Okhio told the investor he would invest his money in a $100 million traiding platform in the foreign currency exchange market. He also assured the investor that he would reap a 200 percent profit in four weeks and that is was a no-risk investment.
Soon after the victim wired $5 million from his bank to the OGH bank account, Okhio wire-transferred $1 million of the investment into his personal account. The $1 million withdraw took place through a series of cash and ATM withdrawals and wire transfers to third parties. The investor lost approximately $1 million in the fraud scheme.
“Investors should beware of deals that sound too good to be true and should always look into the bona fides of their investment advisers. The defendant represented himself as a trustworthy adviser with access to sophisticated and safe investments. In reality, he was a con man who stole a million dollars from his investor. We will aggressively prosecute such outright thefts by so-called investment professionals,” stated United States Attorney Lynch.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the inter-agency task force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.