Woodridge man charged in investment scam
Federal authorities allege a Woodridge man swindled several people, including women he met online, a family member and an former employee, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a phony investment scheme.
Marcus Beam, 49, faces nine counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud in an indictment announced Friday by the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Beam, according to the indictment, portrayed himself as the owner of a Chicago investment company called Chase Private Equity LLC, also known as New World Capital LLC.
Beam, who also owned and operated other companies, including the Naperville-based virtual reality company VR 360 LLC and the Bolingbrook-based brokerage firm Imex Energy Inc., that claimed to sell retail electricity for third parties, told the victims their money would be invested in popular stocks such as Uber and Lyft and gold, art and real estate, the indictment states.
Instead, authorities said, he spent the money on rent, auto loans and purchases at such stores as Walmart and Ikea.
The indictment said the scheme began in 2015 and continued until October, 2019, resulting in a loss of at least $500,000 to investors, some of the money coming from investors' retirement accounts.
Beam, the charges state, attempted to conceal the scheme by furnishing victims with account statements that misrepresented the value of their funds.
Each count in the indictment is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Arraignment in federal court has not been scheduled.