German fugitive arrested in Las Vegas

A German man sought in Europe for alleged participation in a $100 million pyramid scheme has been arrested here after five years on the run, US immigration authorities said.

Ulrich Felix Anton Engler, 51, was arrested late Wednesday by US immigration authorities and police in the gambling capital and was being held for violating US immigration law pending deportation.

"Mr Engler's capture after five years on the run is a welcome day and an important step in addressing a fraud in excess of $100 million," said John Morton, the director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency ICE.

"I hope Mr Engler's victims in this case feel a measure of relief that Mr Engler's fraud and long run are over and that he will soon face justice in Germany for his alleged crimes."

Engler was wanted in Germany on multiple criminal charges stemming from the pyramid fraud allegedly perpetrated from June 2003 to December 2004 through a financial firm he set up in Cape Coral, Florida.

Charges carrying up to 20 years in prison were filed against him in Mannheim and Hamburg, Germany in 2007.

Engler allegedly used the Internet to lure in investors from Austria, Germany and Switzerland with false claims that he traded in shares and security through his investment company, "Private Commercial Office ins," ICE said.

Investors placed a little under $100,897,00 with Engler's company, according to ICE.

"Once they had transferred the money to the United States, they no longer had any possibility to access the money," it said in a statement.

US authorities began reviewing the case in 2011 and determined that Engler had shifted his operation to Nevada, where he was living under a new identity in the name of Joseph Miller, ICE said.


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