ATLANTA - A Georgia man has been sentenced to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for running a Ponzi scheme that ensnared more than 100 victims.
Syed Arham Arbab, 23, of Atlanta also was ordered to pay $509,032 in restitution to his victims.
As part of a guilty plea entered in federal court last October, Arbab admitted that while enrolled at the University of Georgia in Athens, he solicited investors – many of whom were college students – to invest in two entities he described as hedge funds.
He admitted making misrepresentations to convince the victims to invest about $1 million in Artis Proficio Capital Management and Artis Proficio Capital Investments, promising rates of return as high as 56%. He did not have the liquid capital to make good on these guarantees but did not disclose that to his investors.
Arbab also admitted telling prospective investors a famous pro football player who had played for UGA was an investor and that he was enrolled in a master’s degree program at the university’s Terry College of Business when he had been rejected by Terry College and was running the Ponzi scheme primarily from his fraternity house as an undergraduate.
Arbab spent his investors’ money on personal items, including clothing, fine dining, alcoholic beverages, adult entertainment and interstate travel, including thousands of dollars spent on gambling during three trips to Las Vegas.
Arbab was sentenced by U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal of the Middle District of Georgia followed an FBI investigation.