United States Attorney
Eastern District of California
Friday, September 30, 2011
Former Fresno Businessman Indicted for Defrauding Investors of at Least $2.9 Million
FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Janamjot Singh Sodhi, aka Jimmy Singh, aka Jimmy Sodhi, 35, of Fresno and Clovis, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on seven counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud for his role in defrauding investors of over $2.9 million.
According to the indictment, from early 2005 to September 2011, Sodhi, as owner of Elite Financial Inc., solicited investors to purchase stocks, bonds, money-markets, and other investment instruments with him. Sodhi used the investors’ monies for his own personal use or to pay other investors. In an effort lull his investors into believing that their investments were secure and legitimate, the indictment alleges that Sodhi sent his investors false and fraudulent account statements showing purported investments that he had never purchased on their behalf.
The indictment also alleges that during the time he was soliciting money from his investors, Sodhi did not have a proper license from the State of California to sell these instruments. He also failed to inform his investors that in January 2006 he had been barred from the New York Stock Exchange, and that in January 2009, he had received a cease and desist order from the State of California barring him from selling investment opportunities without a proper license.
He will be appearing for arraignment before the United States Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto today at 1:30 p.m.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Stanley A. Boone and Kirk E. Sherriff are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Sodhi faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charge is only an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This law enforcement action is part of the work being done by President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. One component of the FFETF is the national Securities Fraud Working Group, which is tasked with combating investment fraud schemes. For more information on the task force, visit StopFraud.gov.