Ezri Namvar and Hamid Tabatabai, owners of California-based investment company Namco Capital Group (Namco), received a guilty verdict on four counts of wire fraud in the theft of $21 million. Defendants were accused of creating a Ponzi scheme that lost roughly $500 million. Although various civil lawsuits filed against Namvar and Tabatabai involve roughly 300 to 400 investors alleging fraud, the criminal case involved five victims who invested approximately $25 million with Namvar's company, Namco Financial Exchange Corp. (NFE). Namvar and Tabatabai used the victims' money for unauthorized and undisclosed purposes, including paying off investors and creditors of Namco, rather than holding the money as promised. Namvar was sentenced to Seven years in federal prison for wire fraud. (Ezri Namvar (aka Madoff of Beverly Hills) Sentenced to Prison, Forbes, October 12, 2011).