Canadian admits to $60m online fraud

A Canadian man is facing 25 years in prison after pleading guilty in California for his part in orchestrating a $60m online investment fraud.

The scam, which was uncovered in September 2001, saw Cary Waage and a number of associates establish an internet-based firm called Tri-West Investment Club based in Costa Rica.

Waage and his crew then managed to swindle some 13,000 customers out of $60m in small $1,000 investments promising 120 per cent returns annually from promissory notes belonging to several large banks.

The group then used the money to purchase land in Costa Rica and Mexico as well as cars, boats and even a helicopter.

Tri-West was also used to set up bogus corporations in Costa Rica to hide the profits, Waage confessed.

He also faces a fine equivalent to twice the amount of money coaxed from his victims.

Waage’s father, wife and sister are also indicted in the fraud, but are believed to be either on the run or fighting extradition to the US in Costa Rica.

Related reading

HMRC banknotes