Ponzi scammer targeting college students sentenced to 60 months in prison

Maria Nikolova

Syed Arham Arbab will also have to pay $509,032 in restitution.

Syed Arham Arbab, who is only 23-years old, has been sentenced to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for running a Ponzi scheme targeting fellow students.

The defendant will also have to pay $509,032.12 in restitution to his victims. Let’s recall that Arbab pleaded guilty in October 2019 to one count of securities fraud.

As part of his guilty plea, Arbab admitted that from May 2018 through May 2019, while enrolled at the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia, he solicited investors, many of whom were his fellow students, to invest in his entities, Artis Proficio Capital Management and Artis Proficio Capital Investments (collectively, APC), which he told investors were “hedge funds.” Arbab admitted that he convinced approximately 117 investors in Georgia and other states to invest funds with him and APC, and that he made material misrepresentations to those investors in order to induce them to invest and maintain their investments with him.

Arbab made a number of misrepresentations in order to persuade victims to invest with him, including misrepresenting the funds’ returns, the number of investors, the total funds invested and the nature of the investment plays being made. He also admitted fabricating account statements. Victims invested approximately $1 million with Arbab in the course of his scheme, with Arbab falsely promising rates of returns as high as 56%.

Arbab admitted that knew he did not have the liquid capital to make good on these guarantees when he made them, but he did not disclose this to his investors.

Arbab also misrepresented that he was an MBA candidate at UGA’s Terry College of Business. In fact, ARBAB had applied to and been rejected by UGA’s MBA program and was operating the fund primarily from his fraternity house as an undergraduate.

Arbab further admitted that he spent investor funds on personal expenses, including spending thousands of dollars gambling during three trips to Las Vegas in 2018 and 2019.

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