Orange County Man Indicted for Victimizing Dozens of Investors by Fraudulently Peddling Groundbreaking Technology
An Irvine man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges alleging he defrauded multiple investors in schemes that promised large returns on new technology he said would be traded publicly, announced Stephanie Yonekura, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, and David Bowdich, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Peter Reinert, 60, a recent resident of Laguna Beach, was charged in an indictment filed in United States District Court in Santa Ana on March 26th and unsealed today with 14 counts of wire fraud in connection with the investment schemes.
Reinert was the president and CEO of Fazer technologies that was purportedly developing, among other things, a product that could increase gas mileage for any car to 150 miles per gallon. Reinert was also president and CEO of Global Encryption Imaging Corporation, which purportedly developed, among other things, anti-counterfeiting technology to be used on state-issued identification documents.
Reinert and others working for him solicited investments in these companies and pitched these technological inventions to victims using false representations related to his background or to companies interested in the technology. Reinert told or otherwise led many investors to believe that he had served in the military or as a government agent.
Reinert told investors that he would that he would manufacture products from encryption devices to automotive parts but instead spent investors’ money on luxury automobiles, European travel, and other personal expenses.
When soliciting investors, Reinert omitted information, including his two prior felonies related to fraud and how victims’ funds, which he fully controlled, would be used. For example, court documents allege Reinert sent money to a Polish bank account in the name of Peter Michael Berger, one of his multiple aliases, and sent money to his children.
According to court documents, investigators found evidence indicating that Reinert engaged in additional criminal conduct, including but not limited to telling victims that he was a member of the United States Marine Corp and a United States Secret Service Agent. Additional investigation with the Department of Defense and the United States Secret Service confirmed that neither is true. The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigative Division is also investigating Reinert for tax fraud.
In the schemes alleged in the indictment, investigators have identified at least 50 victims who were defrauded of amounts totaling at least $3.6 million.
FBI agents took Reinert into custody on Tuesday afternoon after Reinert was arrested by police in Laguna Beach for speeding. A search of Reinert’s business was conducted yesterday to seek evidence in this case.
Reinert was in federal court in Santa Ana Wednesday and was denied bail. A trial date has been set for June 2015.
If convicted of all 14 counts alleged in the indictment, Reinert would face a statutory maximum of 280 years in federal prison.
This case is a continuing investigation by the FBI and IRS-CI. Reinert is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Orange County.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
- FBI Media Relations: 310 996-3343
- Assistant United States Attorney Vibhav Mittal: 714 338-3534
- United States Attorney’s Office Spokesman: 213 894-6947