TROY, MI – A Michigan investor is accused of spending $19 million of different folks’s cash in a scheme that concerned a fraudulent actual property firm and the Michigan Lottery.
Viktor Gjonaj, 43, of Troy was charged in federal courtroom with one depend of wire fraud, U.S. Legal professional Matthew Schneider announced on Thursday.
In line with prosecutors, Gjonaj believed he had found a assured approach to win large jackpots within the Michigan Lottery and commenced to considerably enhance the occasions he performed and quantities he spent.
By 2017, Gjonaj started dropping extra money than he received and extra money than he might afford to lose. Relatively than ending his playing, prosecutors say Gjonaj devised a scheme to trick people into giving him cash by falsely promising them he would make investments it in profitable actual property offers.
To make the offers look official, Gjonaj created a pretend title firm and instructed the victim-investors to wire switch cash into the checking account of the pretend firm.
Gjonaj additionally described the fraudulent actual property offers in nice element and inspired victim-investors to proceed giving him cash by disbursing funds to them which he falsely claimed had been earnings on their “funding,” in response to the felony criticism.
By early 2019, Gjonaj was betting over $1 million every week on Michigan Lottery video games utilizing cash fraudulently obtained from victims. In August 2019, Gjonaj’s scheme to defraud unraveled leading to over $19 million in losses to victims.
“This case exhibits us that criminals might use subtle strategies and apparently official companies, however their crimes quantity to nothing greater than stealing different folks’s cash,” Schneider stated. “The defendant’s playing harmed not simply himself, however many different harmless victims as properly.”
Schneider was joined within the announcement by Particular Agent in Cost Timothy T. Waters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Choose Linda V. Parker.
“Viktor Gjonaj repeatedly lied in regards to the nature of his enterprise, inducing buyers to show over cash that he then squandered by enjoying the lottery,” Waters stated. “The defendant’s lies have caught up with him and he’ll now face the implications of his fraudulent scheme.”