Ex-Las Vegas Businessman Gets 50 Years In $1.5B ‘Ponzi Scheme’

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A man who organized one of the largest financial crimes in U.S. history through his Las Vegas-based business was ordered Thursday to serve 50 years in federal prison.

Edwin Fujinaga, the former owner of a medical-billing-collections company that prosecutors called a $1.5 billion Ponzi scheme, was convicted in November of eight counts of mail fraud, nine counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.

At a lengthy sentencing hearing Thursday, the 72-year-old Fujinaga said he lost control of MRI International, which promised interest payments to thousands of Japanese investors.

But prosecutors said he used most of his new investor money to pay back previous investors and spent the rest on private jets, luxury cars and real estate.

“It got out of hand,” Fujinaga told U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro. “I made mistakes in trying to control it, and I lost control. I’m speechless that I can’t fix it. … I never intended to defraud these people.”

Read the original article here: reviewjournal.com

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