U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
Eastern District of California

Friday, September 16, 2011

Former California Businessman Arrested for $2.4 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

FRESNO, Calif. — Janamjot Singh Sodhi, aka Jimmy Singh, was arrested yesterday on an outstanding warrant issued on Sept. 13, 2011, for an investment fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.  Sodhi, 35, of Fresno and Clovis, Calif., is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin at 1:30 pm.

According to the complaint, beginning in April 2010 and continuing until his arrest, Sodhi, former owner of Elite Financial Inc., enticed investors into giving him money for investment opportunities, but used the monies to pay off previous investors and for his own personal use.  Since 2005, Sodhi’s license to sell investments had been revoked, and in January 2009, the state of California issued a cease and desist order against him and Elite Financial from selling securities to investors.  It is alleged that Sodhi defrauded investors of $2.4 million.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the FBI and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stanley A. Boone and Kirk E. Sherriff are prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Sodhi faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  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 (FFETF). 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 www.stopfraud.gov.

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