US Govt shows lenience in criminal proceedings against ex-student of University of Georgia

Maria Nikolova

The Government notes Syed Arbab assisted authorities in the prosecution of his own misconduct by timely notifying authorities of his intention to enter a plea of guilty.

In what is a rather rare move, the United States authorities are showing lenience regarding Syed Arham Arbab, a former student of University of Georgia, who pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud in a criminal action against him earlier in October.

On October 22, 2019, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia filed Motion for Additional Decrease for Acceptance of Responsibility. The document notes that Arbab assisted authorities in the prosecution of his own misconduct by timely notifying authorities of his intention to enter a plea of guilty, thereby permitting the Government to avoid preparing for trial and permitting the Government and the Court to allocate their resources efficiently.

”Therefore, in the event that the Defendant qualifies for a two level decrease for acceptance of responsibility pursuant to Section 3E1.1(a) of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, and if the Defendant’s offense level as determined prior to the operation of Section 3E1.1(a) is level 16 or greater, the United States moves the Court to make an additional one level decrease in the offense level pursuant to Section 3E1.1(b)”, the Attorney says.

Arbab’s plea of guilty subjects him to a statutory penalty of up to 5 years of imprisonment, a maximum fine of $10,000 and supervised release of no more than 3 years.

The information filed against the defendant states that, from about May 2018 to at least May 2019, he offered and sold investment contracts as part of a scheme to defraud investors.

In particular, Arbab purported to manage investment entities, which he at times referred to as a “hedge fund”. Among these entities were Artis Proficio Capital Management and Artis Proficio Capital Investments. Through a variety of means, Arbab became connected to investors in Georgia and other states, who agree to invest with him and APC. In order to solicit funds, Arbab repeatedly made materially false statements and representations to prospective investors. For instance, he made false promises about return rates as high as 22.7% or even 56%.

Arbab used some investor funds for a host of purposes unrelated to investors’ financial interests, including to pay for his own travel and entertainment. When Arbab’s investors sought to withdraw their funds, Arbab used other investors’ funds to pay them back.

As a result of the scheme, investors lost between $550,000 and $1,500,000.

Arbab’s sentencing is currently set for January 8, 2020.

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