Former NY Broker Charged With Fraud
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NEW YORK (AP) _ A purported whistle-blower was indicted Tuesday in a $100 million investment scam discovered in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Justin Fauci, a former broker at First Equity Enterprises, was among eight new defendants charged in a federal case brought last year. Prosecutors allege Fauci tried to cover up the fraud, involving First Equity and a related company.
The firm, Evergreen International Spot Trading, lured 1,400 clients from 14 countries before First Equity’s offices at the trade center were destroyed Sept. 11 and the fraud unraveled, authorities say.
Fauci pleaded innocent Tuesday to wire fraud and money laundering and was released on $500,000 bond. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Outside court, his defense attorney insisted Fauci exposed the scheme, meeting with authorities soon after the terrorist attacks to detail how his boss, Andre Koudachev, cheated investors and fled the country.
But court papers accuse Fauci and other brokers of concealing from investors the fact that Koudachev and others had funneled money to secret bank accounts in Hungary and elsewhere.
Koudachev’s attorney has said his client _ now living in Moscow _ denies any wrongdoing.