Massachusetts man charged in $9.6M fraud

By Alejandra Cancino
Posted Dec. 27, 2010 at 3:55 p.m.

A Massachusetts man is accused defrauding more than 50 investors by  running a Ponzi-style scheme with their $9.6 million.

Randy M. Cho, 39, told investors he was a self-employed securities trader who had a special relationship with Goldman Sachs and could buy discounted shares of well-known companies such as Google, Facebook and Rosetta Stone before their initial public offerings,  according to court documents.

In one case, Cho told an investor he could buy 20,000 shares of Google at $1 each, when shares were publicly trading at $425 or more each.

From 2001 to 2009, Cho collected more than $9.6 million from domestic and foreign investors. To keep his scheme going, Cho used more than $1.5 million from new investors to make payments to existing investors. Investors lost nearly $8 million.

Cho was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false federal income tax return for 2005, when he reported a total income of $118,475 but received nearly $1.2 million.

Earlier this year, as a result of a civil lawsuit, Cho was order to repay the nearly $8 million he took from investors, plus $289,320 in interest, and was fined $150,000.

He is facing additional fines and possible jail time as a result of the new charges.

Cho’s lawyer, Jim Marcus, said he’ll review the charges before deciding what to do.

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