A former Indo-Canadian resident of the Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles was arrested on federal wire fraud charges that allege he defrauded investors out of more than $5 million in a Ponzi scheme, deceiving one investor by falsely telling him that NBA stars such as Stephen Curry would be endorsing one of his beverage products.
Khemraj Dave Hardat, 50, a Canadian national who has been living in the Los Angeles area on an expired tourist visa, was arrested Nov. 27, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the criminal complaint filed in this case says that over the course of approximately 3½ years, Hardat allegedly duped at least seven victims into wiring him a total of more than $5 million. Rather than invest these funds in the businesses Hardat claimed to run, he allegedly used the money for personal expenses, or, in the style of a Ponzi scheme, made partial repayments to previous victims.
As it stand, the criminal complaint charges Hardat with one count of wire fraud, which carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. These are only accusations and Hardat is innocent until proven guilty
According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, Hardat falsely portrayed himself as a man of significant educational and economic achievement, misrepresenting that he had a Ph.D. from Yale University and that he had generated hundreds of millions of dollars via deals with PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper, the press release said. Hardat allegedly falsely conveyed a luxurious lifestyle, which included the rented residence at the Ritz-Carlton, Lamborghini and Maserati sports cars, a luxury box at Staples Center and his children’s placement at prestigious private schools.
The FBI is conducting the investigation into this case.