A federal grand jury indicted a Layton, Utah man for allegedly defrauding investors with non-existent investments in Nigerian oil deals.
Brandon Benson, 41, was charged this week with four counts of wire fraud.
Prosecutors said he used investor money for “expenses and to support his lavish lifestyle.”
Benson, also a resident of Orange County, California, told investors the deals involved oil purchased in Africa and transported and sold at higher prices in other places in Africa.
He told investors their money would only be used only as security for the deals and was “safe and secure,” the Salt Lake Tribune said.
He promised returns of 40 to 120 percent a year, according to the indictment.
Benson instead used money from later investors to pay returns to earlier investors.
But he never invested in any oil transactions, the indictment said.
The charges didn’t specify how much money Benson took in said one investor gave him $600,000.
Benson is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court for Utah on June 11.