Federal authorities have arrested a Boston man in connection with a three-year, multi-million dollar scheme that involved financial institutions across the country and hundreds of fraudulent brokerage accounts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Nathaniel Ponn, 27, was arrested and charged with two counts of wire fraud, authorities said.
From 2012 to April 2015, Ponn allegedly used false names, social security numbers, assets, and incomes to open more than 400 brokerage accounts at nine investment firms across the county in an attempt to transfer funds from a financial institution to the brokerage accounts through an Automated Clearing House transfer. From February of 2014 to last April, Ponn provided transfer information to brokerage firms for the fraudulent accounts more than 350 times and requested $8.5 million in transfers, authorities said.
Each transfer request Ponn applied for was denied, as the accounts either didn’t exist or lacked the funds he attempted to transfer, according to officials. Still, the incomplete transfers made it seem as if the brokerage accounts had the necessary funds to purchase securities, which allowed Ponn to purchase more than $2.7 million in securities through eight investment firms, authorities said. Once the firms uncovered the rejected transfers, the securities in Ponn’s accounts were liquidated.
Ponn was arraigned in U.S. District Court Thursday afternoon.