SAN DIEGO—A San Diego man has been charged with securities fraud and money laundering for allegedly running an investment fraud scheme that took at least $28 million from investors over the past five years, according to an indictment unsealed Dec. 14.
Denny Bhakta, 39, allegedly solicited investments for his companies, Fusion Hotel Management, LLC and Fusion Hospitality Corporation, then used investors’ funds on personal expenses and to pay off other investors. According to a complaint filed against Bhakta by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, “millions of dollars” taken from investors were “gambled and lost at casinos.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges Bhakta told investors that his companies would purchase discounted blocks of hotel rooms from Hilton, then sell those rooms for a profit to United Airlines.
Bhakta allegedly provided fabricated bank records and fake agreements with Hilton and United Airlines to make Fusion’s purported business dealings appear legitimate.
Bhakta was arrested Tuesday morning at his San Diego residence.