NYC woman stole nearly $300K in bogus investment scheme: feds
A Manhattan lady was arrested Thursday over a scheme during which she allegedly siphoned almost $300,000 from dozens of traders — and used the money to bankroll her luxurious way of life, the feds stated.
Lakenya Hopkins, 44, is accused of preying on individuals of shade by telling them investing together with her would result in generational wealth, after which utilizing their cash to hire a swanky condo and purchase fancy objects as an alternative, federal prosecutors stated.
Hopkins, who was nabbed with the assistance of the NYPD’s monetary crimes activity pressure and the US Secret Service, allegedly conned 110 individuals out of $290,000 within the scheme, which lasted from August 2020 till about April 2021.
In November 2020, she used about $85,000 from traders to place down a 12 months’s price of hire on a Manhattan house, prosecutors stated in an indictment. She additionally used a few of the funds on journey and to purchase cryptocurrency for her personal profit, the criticism states.
Whereas operating Cash Magnet Platinum Membership Initiative LLC, Hopkins promised astronomical — and unrealistic — charges of returns on investments, the US Lawyer’s Workplace for the Southern District of New York stated. She marketed the faux “funding membership” as a manner for individuals of shade to construct generational wealth, US Lawyer Damian Williams stated.
“She lied to induce their investments and continued to lie after they questioned her in regards to the standing of their investments,” Williams stated in a press release. “As a substitute of investing the cash as promised, she allegedly enriched herself.”
Hopkins claimed to traders she would get them $8,000 in month-to-month returns for each $1,000 they invested by pooling the cash and placing it right into a hedge fund that assured a 3-5% day by day returns, the feds alleged.
However Hopkins by no means invested the cash and in January 2021 she didn’t dole out the primary assured month-to-month cost, as an alternative telling purchasers she was pausing MMPMI and would return the cash, in keeping with the criticism.
When pressed by fearful traders, she allegedly lied and stated the cash was nonetheless within the hedge fund and they might “not take a loss.” She additionally claimed to them she was “not preserving any cash,” the feds stated.
Hopkins in the end refunded about 5 purchasers. As of Thursday, she has not paid traders the promised returns, in keeping with prosecutors.
She was charged with one depend every of securities fraud and wire fraud that might land her in jail for a most of 40 years if convicted.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell referred to as Hopkins’ alleged actions “despicable.”
“Ms. Hopkins turned her traders into victims, betraying their belief to hold out her personal despicable embezzlement scheme,” Sewell stated in a press release.
Extra reporting by Larry Celona