LOS ANGELES – A Las Vegas businessman and his company, MRI International Inc., were ordered to pay $584 million after a judge ruled that they defrauded Japanese investors in a Ponzi scheme.
Edwin Fujinaga was found liable in October in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit claiming he raised more than $800 million from investors by promising to buy at a discount the money due to medical providers from insurers. Instead, he used the funds to repay earlier investors, purchase luxury cars and pay credit card bills, alimony and child support, according to the SEC.
U.S. District Judge James Mahan in Las Vegas on Tuesday ordered Fujinaga and his company to pay $544 million in disgorgement and interest as well as $40 million in penalties.
Daniel Hitzke, a lawyer for Fujinaga, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and email seeking comment on the order.
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