LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The FBI is looking to locate a man in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme who is known to have lived in Las Vegas but may have fled to Russia.
Mykalai Kontilai — aka Michael Contile — lured investors into giving him money to start an e-commerce auction business called Collectors Cafe from 2012 through 2018, according to the US Attorney’s Office, District of Nevada. Kontilai told investors he invested millions of dollars of his own money in the business and was not taking “a dime of salary.”
Prosecutors say Kontilai led bank officials to believe that money he withdrew was for business purposes when in fact it was for himself. He allegedly withdrew $770,000 in cash from a company bank account and used investor funds to purchase a Cadillac and pay for private school tuition and rent on luxury homes throughout the country.
In a case involving indictments in Nevada, New York and Colorado, authorities allege Kontilai is behind an investment fraud scheme in which he misappropriated $6.1 million, manufactured evidence to mislead investigators, and concealed the proceeds of his scheme from the IRS.
A sealed grand jury indictment on June 3, 2020, in the District of Nevada charges Kontilai with one count of securities fraud, six counts of wire fraud, six counts of laundering of money instruments, one count of money transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity, and four counts of willful failure to file tax returns, four counts conspiracy to obstruct proceedings, one count of obstruction of proceedings, two counts of tampering with documents and two counts of false statements.
Individuals who believe that they may be a victim in this case should contact the FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office.