Promising $1 million returns on $1,000 investments, an Orange County businessman operated a con game on unwitting investors who believed he represented an Indonesian gold and platinum sales consortium that secretly included the CIA, FBI, Interpol and the Federal Reserve, according to a Southern California grand jury indictment.
This week, federal agents arrested Alexander Zbicki and a magistrate judge denied pre-trial bail after declaring the defendant a flight risk who allegedly committed his latest crimes while on probation for a prior conviction.
According to the indictment, Zbicki--who operated from a mailing address near Fashion Island in Newport Beach--committed eight felonies from early 2009 to early 2011 by tricking investors with fraudulent misrepresentations of "billions of dollars in profits."
Zbicki's alleged victims include individuals residing in Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Mobile, Alabama.
Federal agents say victims paid amounts ranging from $25,000 to $450,000 at a time while believing Zbicki's claims his clients are Prince Charles, the United Nations, the Prince of Dubai and the Vatican.
While converting the investments to his personal use, he stole approximately $1.6 million from more than 10 victims, according to the indictment.
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Zbicki, who was born in 1971, pleaded not guilty to all the charges and will face a scheduled five-day, November 4, 2014 trial inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.