With promises of high returns for placing investments through his company, an Anchorage man and his accomplice swindled hopeful investors out of tens of thousands of dollars, according to an indictment.
Federal authorities on Tuesday arrested the man, Platinum Investments president Floyd Lee Jr., and the defunct investment company's treasurer and secretary, Mary Transki. Lee, 32, and Transki, 26, are both charged with one count of felony securities fraud under the indictment handed up last week. Lee also faces a mail fraud charge.
According to the indictment, Lee started Platinum Investments in October 2010.
In order to run his company and place the supposed investments, Lee had access to Platinum's bank accounts and his personal accounts with Scottrade Inc. and ING Direct Investing Inc., the indictment says.
The fraud scheme started sometime in August 2011, according to the indictment. Lee and Transki recruited investors using "the false promise of high yield returns in a brief period of time," the indictment says.
Lee claimed to have offices in Dubai, Manila, Manhattan and Moscow. The 10 investors listed in the indictment -- referred to only by their initials -- signed contracts with Platinum showing the amounts they invested and what they were promised in return.
"It was further a part of the scheme that, contrary to their representations, Lee and Transki never intended to invest, and did not invest, most of the investors' money as promised," the indictment says. "Instead, Lee and Transki used most of the victims' money to pay their own expenses."
Lee and Transki took in about $62,000 through the scheme, before Platinum went out of business in May 2012, the indictment says.
Lee, apparently acting alone, also convinced an 11th alleged victim to invest more than $3,000 in April 2012 to purchase 8,000 cellphone memory cards that Lee never bought, the indictment says. That May, Lee mailed the victim a sample memory card, the basis for the mail fraud charge.
Lee and Transki were in jail Tuesday, court records show. Their initial appearance in federal court is scheduled for Wednesday.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.
By CASEY GROVE