Don Bauder 5:30 p.m., July 27
Another Local Ponzi Schemer Headed to Slammer
Mohit A. Khanna was sentenced to 41 months in prison today (Nov. 15) in U.S. district court for running San Diego's favorite road to riches: a Ponzi scheme. Khanna's Mak 1 Enterprises offered monthly returns ranging from 8% to 50%. Repeat: MONTHLY returns of 8% to 50%. In pleading guilty, Khanna admitted that he caused investors to lose more than $15 million. He has been ordered to pay restitution of $15.9 million. Khanna told victims that he was a foreign currency trader (sound familiar?) but used the investor money on a lavish lifestyle (also sound familiar?) that included homes in Rancho Santa Fe (where else?), Rancho Bernardo and Virginia. According to court records, accountant Randolph Hirsch and attorney Gustav Bujkovsky assisted Khanna. Hirsch sent a letter to investors fraudulently saying that Mak 1's bank account balance exceeded $50 million, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Hirsch pleaded guilty and will be sentenced Dec. 6. When the scam was coming apart, Bujkovsky concealed investor funds in his attorney-client trust account so they could not be garnished. Later, he misled the Securities and Exchange Commission by failing to disclose the concealed investor funds. Bujkowsky has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced Dec. 15. The SEC had halted the scam in August of last year.