LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — For the first time since federal prosecutors filed charges against him, a Las Vegas businessman responded Monday to allegations he took part in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.
As the 8 News Now Investigators first reported, the FBI arrested Martin “Marty” Mizrahi, 51, in December. Mizrahi faces charges including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.
Mizrahi founded LV.net, a Las Vegas-based internet company.
Prosecutors allege Mizrahi and three other men defrauded banks, businesses and individuals of more than $9 million through compromised email addresses and credit cards, documents said.
The men then transferred the money to their own accounts and allegedly lied to banks, prosecutors said. In addition to Mizrahi, David Goran, 56, of Riverside, California; Julia Rebiga, 55, of Long Beach, California; and Joel Zubaid, 55, of Riverside, California, are named as defendants.
“To effectuate the [business email compromise] schemes, the conspirators sent email messages to victims that fraudulently appeared to come from a known source making a legitimate request,” prosecutors wrote in charging documents. “Through those emails, the conspirators requested that the victims send money to bank accounts under the control of [Zubaid, Goran and Rebiga], which was then transferred and disbursed to bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets, including accounts under the control of Zubaid, Rebiga and Mizrahi.”
Fraudulent charges made through point-of-sale credit card machines came from companies Mizrahi and another defendant owned, prosecutors said.
Court documents do not name any of Mizrahi’s businesses, including LV.net.
“In August 2021, the United States government seized funds from me based on Bitcoin that I had sold in May 2021,” Mizrahi said in a statement to the 8 News Now Investigators. “The funds transmitted to me were simply payment in consideration for Bitcoin. At the time, I fully believed the funds that were wired to me were from a legitimate source and I had no reason to believe otherwise. Indeed, I had provided the FBI any/all docs they had requested of me.”
“I hired Portale Randazzo, a New York-based litigation firm, to challenge the government’s seizure of my funds,” Mizrahi said. “Later, I learned that the origin of the funds was compromised and potentially the product of criminal activity.”
“I am confident that once all the facts in this case come out, I will be exonerated of these charges,” Mizrahi said. “I can unequivocally state that I did not commit any of the acts of fraud alleged in the indictment and I look forward to confirming my innocence as the case progresses.”
A federal judge released Mizrahi on $500,000 bond. The government did not file a request to detain him pending trial.
Mizrahi was due in court in New York on Jan. 26.