A man U.S. prosecutors say bilked investors out of $5 million by telling them he would invest it in commodities and currencies allegedly used some of the money to have his wife cryogenically frozen after she died, according to a court filing on Friday.
A federal grand jury in Manhattan indicted Whileon Chay, 38, with three counts of fraud for soliciting investor funds he said he would manage through a number of businesses, including New York-based 4X Solutions, according to the filing.
Chay fled to Peru in 2011 after learning he was under investigation by U.S. authorities, a source familiar with the matter said. He has not returned. Reuters could not determine whether he has a lawyer.
According to the indictment, Chay was raising money from investors as early as 2007. He showed them falsified reports on the performance of various investment strategies in currencies, gold and other markets, and told them he was using currency positions to hedge against the potential risk of gold price fluctuations.
In reality, the indictment said, Chay never bought any gold and lost $2 million of the money trading in the foreign exchange markets. At times, he used money he raised from new investors to pay older ones, but he also bought luxury cars, funded a "lavish lifestyle" and paid $150,000 to have his deceased wife cryogenically frozen in 2009, the indictment said.
He faces one count each of wire fraud, commodities fraud and mail fraud.