United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced on Friday the return of an indictment charging Avinash Singh with 10 counts of wire fraud and 6 counts of money laundering. Singh, the operator of fraudulent FX scheme Highrise Advantage, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud count, and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for each money laundering count.
According to court documents, from February 2013 to September 2020, Singh received more than $57 million, from over 1,100 victims, that was to be invested in retail Forex contracts through Highrise. To induce his victims to invest, Singh claimed that he had a proven track record of success as a Forex trader, that he was going to use the funds for investments in forex, and that he would “guarantee” that his victims would not lose any funds for any trading losses.
Those representations were not true. Rather than invest his victims’ funds in FX trading as he had promised, Singh used funds from one investor to pay amounts owed to other investors. He did not invest the funds that he had promised but instead misappropriated at least $45 million in the form of payments to other investors and millions of dollars in personal expenses. Singh invested less than 5% of the funds that he had received in actual Forex trading.
To cover up his scheme, Singh issued monthly statements that falsely represented that he had invested the funds in forex as he had promised and that he was making large profits. In fact, Singh’s investments, when he made them, often lost significant amounts of money, which Singh attempted to cover up by creating false monthly statements.
The amount of restitution due to the victims will be determined at a later date.