Orlando man pleads guilty to $57 million investment fraud scheme

A 42-year-old business owner from Orlando recently pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges in connection with a multi-million-dollar investment fraud scheme.

On Tuesday, May 7, U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg of the Middle District of Florida announced that Avinash Singh has pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.

In addition, Singh has agreed to the forfeiture of $57 million, as well as the forfeiture of two personal residences that were purchased with the proceeds of the wire fraud scheme and involved in the money laundering offenses.

According to the plea agreement, Singh operated a company called Highrise Advantage, LLC. Beginning in February 2013 through September 2020, he solicited and received more than $57 million from over 1,100 victims, which was supposed to be invested in retail foreign currency contracts (“forex”) through Highrise.

Singh told the victims that he had “a proven track record of success” as a forex trader. He further claimed that he was going to use the funds for investments in forex, and he “guaranteed” that his victims would not lose any funds.

Rather than investing the victims’ funds in forex trading as promised, Singh used funds from one investor to pay amounts that were owed to another investor. In addition, he did not invest the funds that he promised to invest, and at least $45 million was misappropriated in the form of payments to other investors and millions of dollars in personal expenses.

Singh faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud count, as well as up to 10 years for each money laundering count.

A sentencing hearing for Singh has not yet been scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General, the St. Cloud IRS Federal Financial Crimes Task Force, and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda S. Daniels.

The asset recovery is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole M. Andrejko.

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