Courtesy the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Courtesy the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A 51-year-old Irvine man was arrested in an investment fraud scheme following a raid of his Fountain Valley office, authorities said Friday.

Aiman Alexander Ataba, who is accused of defrauding investors by soliciting investments in his business and spending their money on personal purchases, was arrested on charges of mail fraud and money laundering Thursday at his Fountain Valley office, said Laura Eimiller of the FBI.

From January 2012 to August 2016, Ataba used his business, Innovation Validation and Design Technologies, to obtain money from investors under false promises, mainly telling them he would use the money to build and sell a device for stem cell research that would be used in hospitals, according to the indictment.

After his victims invested, Ataba allegedly sent them stock warrants that would supposedly enable them to purchase stock at a discount and told investors his company was on the verge of being acquired, which would result in a big payout, the indictment said. He was allegedly able to get at least one victim to invest $640,000.

Ataba is accused of diverting the money from his business’ bank account for his personal use, including $350,000 in cash withdrawals, and of buying numerous items, including a vehicle, airline tickets, clothing, electronics and home goods.

He also used the money to gamble, pay off personal medical expenses, pay utility bills and rental car fees, according to the indictment.

—City News Service

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