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updated: 8/28/2014 7:48 AM

Chicagoan accused of defrauding Chinese

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Associated Press

A 30-year-old Chicagoan faces federal charges for allegedly bilking nearly 300 Chinese of $160 million, including by assuring them their investments would secure them U.S. residency permits.

A Wednesday grand jury indictment in Chicago says Anshoo Sethi told investors he was building a nearly $1 billion hotel and convention complex near Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Sethi in 2013. And in a settlement, the Chinese investors recouped around $147 million.

Sethi's lawyers, Patrick Collins and Caryn Trombino, say in a statement that evidence will show the O'Hare-area project "was real." They add the indictment "oversimplified" what happened and that Sethi looks forward to presenting "the complete picture."

Sethi's charged with wire fraud and making false statements. A fraud conviction carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

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