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FBI Cracks Down on Investment Scams

IN BRIEF / CRIME

March 08, 2003|From Times staff and wire reports

FBI agents cracked down on get-rich-quick schemes that allegedly defrauded hundreds of people nationwide out of an estimated $500 million.

Agents targeted 100 people allegedly involved in fake or nonexistent investments sometimes called prime bank schemes.

FBI officials said the operator of Encino-based Premier Marketing and Investments Inc., identified as Nicholas Roblee, was arrested on suspicion of wire fraud and money laundering in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud investors who had paid him at least $4.5 million.

Roblee, who also goes by the name Nicholas Richmond, allegedly promised monthly returns of up to 200% from a variety of investments but was paying old investors with money from new investors in a Ponzi-type scheme, the FBI said.

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