A man has pleaded not guilty to charges of swindling 11 Korean-American investors out of nearly $2 million.
Robin K. Cho, 47, faces 118 counts of securities fraud, grand theft and forgery. He entered his plea Thursday.
Prosecutors claim Cho, who ran a company called Citi Travelers Insurance Management, scammed investors through a pyramid scheme between 1998 and 2003.
Cho of Los Angeles promised investors 4 to 6 percent interest monthly and said the investments would be low-risk when they were actually risky, eventually losing the investors’ money, Deputy District Attorney Richard Lowenstein said.
To maintain interest payments to the early investors, Cho continued to sell securities to new investors, Lowenstein said.
When investors didn’t receive promised payments, Cho blamed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks for his failure to pay and made other excuses, prosecutors allege.
He faces a maximum sentence of almost 62 years in prison if convicted, according to Lowenstein. Cho was held on $1.9 million bail and due back in court July 14.
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