Federal authorities have accused a New York man of defrauding investors out of millions of dollars and using the misappropriated funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle — luxury cars for himself and something a bit more unusual for his wife.
Authorities say Whileon Chay spent more than $150,000 in order to have his deceased spouse cryogenically frozen. She died in “in or about 2009,” according to the indictment.
Cryogenic freezing has been portrayed as a way to preserve living or dead people in order to revive them in the future, according to the Cryonics Institute.
The indictment, unsealed on Friday in Manhattan federal court, accuses Chay of soliciting more than $5 million from investors in commodities pools, which supposedly were primarily engaged in foreign exchange trading.
Chay, 38, lost more than $2 million in commodities trading and in 2011 fled the United States for Lima, Peru, according to a release from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“Whileon Chay deceived investors about the commodities pools he managed, claiming to be a successful trader when he in fact was losing millions and misappropriating investors’ money for his own use,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.
Chay has been charged with mail and wire fraud, which each carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison. He also was charged with commodities fraud, which has a maximum of 10 years.
According to Bharara’s office, Chay promised investors approximate annual return rates of 24% and claimed that “[t]here is no risk in this activity.”
“[W]e have never had a loosing [sic] month,” he told investors, according to the release.
The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission had previously sued Chay and his company, 4X Solutions, Inc.