LAS VEGAS – Two former investment managers from Japan who appeared in court in Las Vegas face criminal fraud charges in which prosecutors call an international $ 1.5 billion Ponzi scheme.
The seventy-year-old Junzo Suzuki and his 40-year-old son Paul Suzuki did not plead guilty on Thursday, and a federal magistrate put a hearing next Wednesday to decide whether to be released from custody pending trial.
Their lawyers, Richard Wright and Junji Suzuki, refused to comment. Junji Suzuki said he was not related to the defendants.
Junzo and Paul Suzuki were arrested in Japan in January, two months after a federal jury in Las Vegas found his 72-year-old co-author, Edwin Fujinaga, guilty of fraud and money laundering.
Prosecutors say their company, MRI International Inc., had thousands of Japanese victims.