ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A former UGA student is accused of operating a Ponzi scheme out of a fraternity where he used to live.
In a 19-page civil complaint filed by the Atlanta office of the SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, former UGA student Syed Arbab is accused of operating an ongoing Ponzi scheme.
SEC Atlanta Regional Director Richard R. Best told FOX 5 News at least $269,000 was taken from investors, mostly present and former UGA students who invested a few hundred or a few thousand dollars.
“To a student who is either in school trying to pay for an education or recently graduated in some cases potentially with student loans, a few thousand dollars is a lot of money,” said Best.
The legal paperwork said 22-year-old Arbab operated a fraudulent hedge fund known as APCI, Artis Proficio Capital Investments at 558 West Broad Street, the same address as the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, where Arbab apparently lived as a UGA student.
When FOX 5 News reporter George Franco knocked at the fraternity door no one answered.
Director Best told FOX 5 News the fraternity was in no way involved. He said Arbab spent some of the money in Vegas on gambling and more.
“Including at least some funds traced back to gentleman’s clubs,” said Best.
He said Arbab used money transfer apps like Venmo to keep his Ponzi scheme going.
“What was actually happening is he was getting one investor to send money to another investor,” said Best.
He told FOX 5 News Arbab made claims of returns of up to 56 percent on investments.
Chris Maynor, a former UGA student said it sounded too good to be true.
“It doesn’t happen in real life but that’s just crazy for somebody so young,” said Maynor.
Director Best told FOX 5 News Arbab has had his assets frozen to try to make it right for the victims.
FOX 5 News tried but could not locate Arbab or his attorney.
Director Best said this is a lesson for all investors to carefully review their investments.
This is a link to help: investor.gov