A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that racked up $30 million to finance the purchase of luxury cars, the Department of Justice announced this week.
The perpetrator, Alex Golant, obtained the money from at least 40 different victims, according to the Eastern District of Wisconsin District Attorney’s office. The scheme, which took money from one investor to pay off another, hinged on Golant purchasing luxury vehicles in the U.S. and then selling those vehicles at inflated prices to foreign buyers overseas, mostly in China.
To carry out the scheme, Golant would send multiple fraudulent applications to obtain financing for vehicles he knew were previously exported. Golant also received funds from third parties by falsely representing that the funds would be used to purchase luxury vehicles. The third parties included lenders, investors and vehicle brokers. The DOJ did not disclose which lenders were involved.
In the end, the DOJ’s investigations found that Golant’s scheme affected at least 22 victims, with a an estimated loss of $17.7 million. The U.S. government lost about $5.4 million in unpaid taxes.
Golant is being charged for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit tax fraud and faces 126 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. He perpetrated the fraud scheme over the course of several years while he was on federal supervised release for a prior fraud conviction, the DOJ noted in a press release.