A man who previously lived in Elk Grove was arrested Monday on charges that he took millions of dollars from investors and then gambled it, spent it on a film project and bought three franchise businesses, according to federal authorities.
Vincent Thakur Singh, 43, was arrested in Caldwell, Idaho, on 24 charges brought by a federal grand jury in Sacramento earlier this month.
According to the grand jury indictment, Singh targeted Indian Fijians and took money from new investors and gave it to previous investors, claiming it was interest on their money. The indictment says Singh also:
- Lost $12 million on gambling
- Diverted $2 million to his own bank accounts, withdrawing much of it
- Spent $880,000 on a film project
- Used $370,000 for the down payment on a commercial property
- Spent $662,500 to buy three retail franchises
The alleged fraud took place from 2007 to 2010, authorities say.
The full press release from United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner's office follows:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Vincent Thakur Singh, 43, formerly of Elk Grove, was arrested late Monday on federal investment fraud and bankruptcy fraud charges in Caldwell, Idaho. Singh is charged in a 24-count indictment, returned by a federal Grand Jury in Sacramento on October 4th and unsealed this morning, with wire fraud, false statements in bankruptcy, and bankruptcy bribery, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
The indictment alleges that Singh carried out an investment fraud through an entity known as the Perfect Financial Group. According to the indictment, Singh targeted 190 members of the ethnic Indian Fijian community for an investment fraud that grossed approximately $20 million. Singh told investors that he was using their money for hard money lending, but actually, he put it to other purposes. The indictment alleges that he lost $12 million through gambling, diverted more than $2 million to personal bank accounts and withdrew much of that in cash, spent $880,000 on a film project, and spent more than $1 million on other business ventures. Singh also used the money to pay other victims, falsely representing that the payments were profits from the short-term hard money lending business.
According to court documents, on August 19, 2010, Singh declared bankruptcy and committed fraud crimes in the bankruptcy. In the bankruptcy, Singh allegedly failed to disclose bank accounts and tried to induce his victims not to participate in the bankruptcy proceedings.
This case is the product of an investigation by the FBI with assistance from the office of the U.S. Trustee. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew D. Segal is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Singh faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and five years in prison for each count of the bankruptcy crimes. The actual sentence, if convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.