Man indicted in multimillion-dollar fraud scheme


A Las Vegas man has been indicted in connection with a multimillion-dollar nationwide fraud scheme, federal officials announced Friday.

Anton Paul Drago, formerly known as Evan Joseph Fogarty, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, attempting to pass a fictitious obligation, false claims for veterans benefits, theft of public funds, failing to file a federal income tax return and making false statements to a federal agent.

According to a statement released by the Justice Department, the indictment was returned on Wednesday. It was unsealed Thursday in Las Vegas, after Drago made his initial court appearance.

The indictment claims Drago and Joseph Rizzuti, whom the statement described as an unindicted co-conspirator who owned and operated an accounting and bookkeeping business in Florida, solicited investors by falsely representing that investment money would be used for legal fees and business expenses to fund the production, refinement and shipping of oil from Nigeria to the Bahamas.

Drago is accused of instead using the investment money for personal expenses.

The indictment also alleges that Drago falsely claimed unemployability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, it alleges that Drago attempted to pass a fictitious financial instrument, purportedly worth $10 million, at a bank.

Drago also is accused of falsely telling federal law enforcement agents that every penny he received from investors went to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.

The case was investigated by special agents with Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the Office of Inspector General for the VA.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710.

 

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