Two men pleaded guilty on January 6, 2022, in Las Vegas to wire fraud charges for their roles in a $1.5 billion Ponzi scheme that had as many as 10,000 victims across the globe that prosecutors have compared to some of the biggest financial fraud schemes in U.S. history.
Junzo Suzuki and his son, Paul Suzuki, pleaded guilty to their involvement with MRI International Inc., a Las Vegas-based company that from 2009 to 2013 told thousands of Japanese investors they were purchasing claims from a medical collection business, according to The Associated Press.
However, in April 2013, when the Japanese government revoked MRI’s license to market securities, prosecutors say the company owed over $1.5 billion to investors.
Both men pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud, and they now face five years each in prison followed by three years of supervised release, a deal they made rather than beginning a trial next month for 15 federal fraud charges.
The father and son were arrested in Japan in January 2019, months after a separate Las Vegas jury convicted their co-defendant Edwin Fujinaga on 20 counts of mail fraud, money laundering and wire fraud, for which the 75-year-old is currently serving a 50-year sentence.