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Former Essex Holdings chief executive Navin Shankar charged in $30M Fraud


Navin Shankar
Navin Shankar

Navin Shankar has been charged for his roles in an alleged $30 million fraud.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Navin Shankar Subramaniam Xavier, former chief executive of Essex Holdings Inc., has been charged in two separate fraud schemes totaling more than $30 million.

According to charging documents, the first scheme involved nearly 100 investors who purportedly purchased interests in sugar transportation and iron ore mining in Chile. The second scheme involved unlawfully obtaining economic development funds from the State of South Carolina, according to the Justice Department.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement during a joint press conference Wednesday.

Shankar was charged with wire fraud in the 15-count indictment. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison for each count and a fine up to $250,000.

From Sept. 2000 through May 2014, Shankar operated Essex Holdings from his office in Miami Gardens, according to the indictment. From there, he raised more than $29 million from nearly 100 investors for supposed investments in sugar transportation and shipping, as well as iron ore mining in Chile.

He used a false financial statement, forged documents, and false promises of fixed rates of return, to induce investors to invest with Essex Holdings. Most of the money was used for purposes other than what was promised, including to support lavish spending by him and his wife for expensive jewelry, luxury vehicles, wedding expenses, and cosmetic surgery.  Eventually, Shankar used new investor money to pay old investors in a Ponzi-like fashion before the scheme collapsed.

The second scheme involved Shankar using Essex Holdings to obtain $1.2 million in payments and approximately $1.5 million worth of commercial real estate from the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development, a division of the South Carolina state government, that was supposed to be used to develop a dilapidated industrial property into a diaper plant and rice packaging facility.

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