German accused of pyramid scheme fraud arrested in Las Vegas

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 29, 2012 2:11 PM
German accused of pyramid scheme fraud arrested in Las Vegas

(Reuters) - A German man accused of using an Internet pyramid scheme to bilk investors of over $100 million dollars and then going on the run for five years has been arrested in Las Vegas, a U.S. official said on Sunday.

Ulrich Felix Anton Engler, 51, was arrested on Wednesday for violating U.S. immigration law, said Nicole Navas, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Engler is wanted by German authorities on multiple criminal charges after allegedly defrauding several thousand German, Swiss and Austrian investors. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Engler is accused of using a Florida-based marketing company from June 2003 to June 2004 to promote another company which falsely claimed it traded in stocks and other securities to lure investors who lost access to their money once it was transferred to the United States.

An international arrest warrant was issued for him in 2007, but his whereabouts were unknown.

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Last year, authorities began to re-examine his case and determined he was running a similar scheme in Nevada under a new name.

Engler is in custody of immigration officials and will be deported and turned over to German law enforcement authorities, Navas said.

(Reporting by Kevin Gray in Miami; editing by Mohammad Zargham)