(JTA) – The FBI arrested a Los Angeles man who allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme targeting the city’s Iranian Jewish community.
Shervin Davatgarzadeh, also known as Shervin Neman, was taken into custody last week on suspicion of defrauding $3 million from mostly Jewish Iranian-American investors, the FBI said.
According to the indictment, Davatgarzadeh posed as a hedge fund manager promising to invest in the Los Angeles real estate market.
He is suspected of illegally using the investments to pay for a lavish lifestyle for himself and his wife that included a $60,000 wedding ring, luxury cars and a new office.
According to the L.A. Jewish Journal, the Iranian Jewish community in Los Angeles has been rocked by a series of Ponzi schemes in recent years.
A U.S. district court in March sentenced an Iranian-Jewish radio talk show host and businessman, John Farahi, to 10 years in prison for swindling $24 million from dozens of victims, mostly Iranian Jews.
In October 2011, Iranian-Jewish businessman Ezri Namvar was sentenced to a seven-year prison term for stealing $21 million from four clients.