Love can make a person do crazy things — like orchestrate a $5 million Ponzi scheme and then use some of those funds to cryogenically freeze one’s dead wife.
But that’s exactly what one New York man stands accused of doing. According to People, Whileon Chay, 38, solicited funds in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded the people who believed they were investing in a business called 4X Solutions, from 2007 to 2011. The indictment against Chay was filed in the Manhattan federal court last Friday.
The documents filed in court claim that Chay used some of the money invested in his Ponzi scheme to pay for his personal expenses and maintain an incredibly lavish lifestyle, which included driving a different luxury car each time he met with one particular investor. Chay allegedly solicited more than $5 million from his investors in his scheme, with the promise of a 24 percent annual return and assuring them that there was “no risk in this activity,” prosecutors say. Chay further bolstered his fraudulent claims by sending his investors fake account statements, and using new investor contributions to pay phony returns to earlier investors.
He also reportedly paid more than $150,000 to have his wife, who died in or about 2009, to be cryogenically frozen.
According to the Cryonics Institute, cryogenic freezing has been portrayed as a way to preserve living or dead people in order to revive them in the future. As the website states, cryogenic freezing “involves cooling legally-dead people to liquid nitrogen temperature where physical decay essentially stops, in the hope that future technologically advanced scientific procedures will someday be able to revive them and restore them to youth and good health. A person held in such a state is said to be a ‘cryopreserved patient,’ because we do not regard the cryopreserved person as being inevitably ‘dead.'”
It may be that Chay is almost certainly a criminal, defrauding many of millions, but it seems pretty evident the man did love his wife.
Chay fled New York for Lima, Peru in 2011, and has not returned to the United States, nor can he be located. In a statement made by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, attorney Preet Bharara said, “As alleged, Whileon Chay deceived investors about the commodities pools he managed, claiming to be a successful trader when he in fact was losing millions and misappropriating investors’ money for his own use. Although he has fled the country, these charges against him will persist and so will our efforts to bring him back to face them.”
The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office has filed charges of commodities fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud against Chay. The maximum prison term for the mail and wire charge are 20 years each, while the commodities fraud charge carries a maximum term of 10 years.
Just earlier this month, another man was charged with a $5 million Ponzi scheme. For more on that, click here.
[Image via sodahead.com]