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Man arrested in $1.8-million Ponzi scheme case

A man suspected of stealing $1.8 million from 29 victims across California was arrested in Thailand after fleeing nearly five years ago, authorities said Monday night.

John Chiyuan Lee has been extradited to Los Angeles County to face 31 felony charges stemming from what authorities allege was a large-scale Ponzi scheme, the Sheriff's Department said.

The victims gave money to Lee to invest in the stock market, the department said in a statement. They lived in cities including Morgan Hill, Lakewood, West Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Huntington Beach and Thousand Oaks.

Lee fled to Taiwan in November 2006 and was arrested last week in Thailand by U.S. and Thai authorities after he was tracked down by a Sheriff's Department detective, according to the department.

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— Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

 
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