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Financiers bilked in Japan aim to Las Vegas mayor for restitution

L.a attorneys Robert Cohen and James Gibbons state they understand exactly what Mayor Carolyn Goodman ought to finish with the $50,000 in campaign contributions she obtained from the alleged mastermind of a $1.5 billion worldwide Ponzi scheme:

She needs to provide it to their clients– countless Japanese investors who lost their life-savings in a scheme presumably run by Edwin Fujinaga through his Las Vegas-based business, MRI International Inc.

“Eventually, there’s no concern that all the cash Fujinaga has actually comes from the victims,” Cohen said. “He stole from the victims and offered it to the mayor.”

Cohen recommended the concept in a July 16 letter to Goodman, however he said that up until now all he’s received from the mayor’s personnel is a cold shoulder.

Goodman, whose project finance reports show a $14,100 deficit, declined remark Thursday.

Fujinaga, 68, and 2 of his executives in Japan were prosecuted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas previously this month on scams charges. Fujinaga pleaded blameless and was released on his own recognizance, with travel limitations. The other two defendants, Junzo Suzuki, 66, and his son, Paul Suzuki, 36, are not in custody.

Fujinaga was the largest individual contributor to Goodman’s first campaign in 2011, according to project reports on file with the Nevada secretary of state’s workplace.

In a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal after Fujinaga’s indictment, Goodman stated she plans to “let the justice system run its course,” before deciding on the $50,000.

Cohen recommended in his letter that the justice system has already run its course for the victims. On January 27, a federal judge in Las Vegas slapped Fujinaga and defunct MRI International with a $585 million U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil judgement, he said.

“The enormous scams …, which had actually been underway at least because 2005 and continued unabated up until its discovery in April 2013, is not just a matter of allegations; it is an adjudicated fact,” Cohen composed.

“For the countless victims and their families, the damages have actually been devastating,” Cohen added. “As the statements in the court files testify, for numerous of the victims the investments represented their sole savings, and thousands have actually lost their entire life cost savings.”

MRI, which was included in Nevada in 1998, supposedly concentrated on a practice called “factoring,” where balance due were purchased from medical carriers at a savings and an effort was made to recuperate more than the reduced amount from the debtor, the indictment states.

In fact, authorities say, money from new investors was made use of to settle older ones to make it resemble the business was a noise– a classic Ponzi plan.

Fujinaga and the Suzukis stand accused of fraudulently getting financial investments from the Japanese locals from 2009 to 2013. They utilized investor money to unlawfully pay themselves sales commissions, subsidize gambling habits and money their individual travel by private jet, the indictment alleges.

Fujinaga likewise utilized money in the scheme to cover his personal credit cards, purchase luxury vehicles and pay a total of $25,000 in alimony and youngster support, according to the 2013 SEC civil problem.

Cohen said that previously this week he called the mayor’s office, where an aide gave no clear indication if Goodman would be responsive his idea to return the $50,000 to his customers. The assistant informed Cohen that he might get a call from the mayor’s project personnel.

As of late Thursday afternoon, Cohen said he had not received a call.

A city spokesperson for Goodman, who is “away from the workplace,” had nothing to add to her previous statement, which he said “is still precise.”

How any money from the mayor might be sent out to Japan continues to be unclear. Gibbons said a special trust fund might be set up, or the cash might go to a court-appointed receiver for Fujinaga’s continuing to be assets.

Contact Jeff German at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter @JGermanRJ.