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Former MBA Student Accused of Defrauding Alums in $2.9M Ponzi Scheme

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Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Harvard Business School MBA Accused of Running $2.9 Million Ponzi Scheme

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has filed charges against Harvard Business School MBA Vladimir Artamonov, accusing him of operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $2.9 million. The scheme, which promised returns of 500% to 1,000% by claiming insider knowledge of Berkshire Hathaway’s investment plans, targeted at least 29 individuals.

Tragically, one investor reportedly took his own life after losing his entire investment to Artamonov’s scheme. Three of Artamonov’s former classmates at Harvard, including Mei Shibata and Arndt Nicklisch, provided affidavits against him, detailing how he used his persuasive skills and network to deceive investors.

Artamonov allegedly used investors’ funds for personal expenses, including luxury vacations, shopping sprees, and fine dining. The scheme unraveled when the investor’s suicide brought attention to the fraud, but Artamonov continued to solicit new funds and fabricate the fund’s performance even after the tragic event.

Artamonov, who graduated from Harvard Business School in 2003 and previously worked as a financial analyst at Merrill Lynch, has been active in the investment industry for years. This case underscores the risks associated with Ponzi schemes and the critical importance of conducting thorough due diligence before investing.

Investors are reminded to be cautious and vigilant, as schemes like these can have devastating consequences. Authorities are urging anyone who may have been affected by Artamonov’s actions to come forward and seek justice. As the legal proceedings unfold, the repercussions of this Ponzi scheme are likely to serve as a stark warning to others in the industry.

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