Ex-MRI Pres. Gets 50 Years in Prison


Los Angeles, May 23 (Jiji Press)--Edwin Fujinaga, former president and chief executive of Las Vegas-based asset management company MRI International Inc., was sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment by a federal district court Thursday for conducting a massive Ponzi scheme involving a huge number of Japanese investors.

In November last year, the Nevada district court found Fujinaga, 72, guilty of eight counts of mail fraud, nine counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering in connection with the Ponzi scheme.

According to the U.S. judicial and investigative authorities, he fraudulently solicited investments totaling over one billion dollars from more than 10,000 Japanese investors from 2000 until approximately 2013.

Although he promised that their money would be used only to purchase medical claims, he spent less than 2 pct of the new investors' funds to buy the financial products. Instead, he spent the vast majority of the funds to pay off old investors and used the balance to purchase a private jet, real estate in Beverly Hills, luxury cars and other expensive items.

MRI eventually owed its investors more than 1.5 billion dollars.

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