MACON, Ga. (AP) — A former University of Georgia student who ran a Ponzi scheme and defrauded more than 100 investors has been sentenced to five years in prison, federal authorities said.
U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal sentenced Syed Arham Arbab, 23, of Atlanta, on Friday, U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler said in a news release. Arbab was also ordered to pay $509,032 in restitution to his 117 victims.
Arbab pleaded guilty in October 2019 to a one-count bill of information charging him with securities fraud. Prosecutors said he preyed on inexperienced investors, including his own fellow students.
"Arbab lied about pursuing an MBA, lied about having the support of a famous UGA grad, lied about the amount of capital he raised and lied about what he was doing with investors’ money ... Arbab took other people’s money and spent it on lavish trips to Las Vegas, expensive clothing, fine dining, adult entertainment and luxuries for himself,” Peeler said.
Officials say Arbab's illegal activities occurred between May 2018 and May 2019 and operated primarily through his fraternity house, while he was enrolled as an undergraduate at UGA. Arbab solicited investors, many of whom were students, to invest in his Artis Proficio Capital Management and Artis Proficio Capital Investments.
“The victims will never recover their losses," said Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of the FBI in Atlanta. "It is a stark reminder to investors to be extremely careful where they entrust their money and be skeptical of offers that sound too good to be true.”