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Florida: Indian CEO sentenced to 15 years in prison for $33 million fraud scheme

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Indian CEO Essex Holdings sentenced


The former Chief Executive Officer of Essex Holdings, Inc., was charged with 2 separate fraud schemes equaling more than $30 million.  The 1st scheme involved almost 100 investors who purportedly purchased interests in sugar transportation and iron ore mining in Chile.  The 2nd scheme involved unlawfully obtaining economic development funds from the State of South Carolina.

Navin Shankar Subramaniam Xavier, a/k/a “Navin Xavier,” a/k/a “Dr. Navin Xavier” (Xavier), 44, of Miramar, is charged by Indictment with 15 counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1343.  Xavier faces a maximum statutory sentence of twenty years in prison for each count and a fine up to $250,000.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles in Miami.

According to the Indictment, Xavier operated Essex Holdings, Inc., (“Essex Holdings”) from an office in Miami Gardens, and raised more than $29 million from nearly 100 investors for supposed investments in sugar transportation and shipping, as well as iron ore mining in Chile.  Xavier managed a fake financial statement, forged reports, and fake promises of fixed rates of return, to induce investors to invest with Essex Holdings.  Most of the money was utilized for purposes other than what was promised, including to support lavish spending by Xavier and his wife for expensive jewelry, luxury vehicles, wedding expenses, and cosmetic surgery.  Finally, Xavier used new investor money to pay old investors in a Ponzi-like fashion before the scheme collapsed.

The second scheme included Xavier using Essex Holdings to obtain $1.2 million in payments and about $1.5 million worth of commercial real estate from the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development (“SCCCED”), a part of the South Carolina state government, that was supposed to be utilized to develop a dilapidated industrial property into a diaper plant and rice packaging facility.  According to the statement, Xavier provided fake financial documentation to SCCCED in order to obtain the contract, and later provided fake contractor invoices and fake bank statements in order to get paid under the contract.

As with the investment fraud scheme, Xavier spent the development money for his personal living expenses and wired some of it to the same overseas accounts used in the investment fraud.

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