Richmond's Walker Sumchai indicted for defrauding investors of $13M via a fake scheme in Stockton. Faces severe penalties if convicted.
A 61-year-old Richmond woman has been indicted on 30 counts alleging she defrauded more than 1,000 investors of over $13 million using a fake investment scheme from her office in Stockton, U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert announced Tuesday.
Tilila Siola’a Walker Sumchai was charged last week with wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud, and the sale of unregistered securities.
Between January to October 2021, Walker Sumchai was suspected of soliciting Tongan investors claiming to use a secret algorithm and promised them that if they gave her funds to purchase shares of the “Tongi Tupe” investment program, she would invest the money, according to court documents.
In return, the investors would allegedly receive their principal investments back and thousands of dollars in returns within weeks or months.
She additionally made promises that if she was given $30,000 from the investors involved that within months they would receive a home in Lodi worth about $480,000, according to court documents.
However, all of the money Walker Sumchai collected was allegedly used for her own personal expenses, which included gambling as well as paying back earlier investors. The investors involved were from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
Prosecutors said if she is convicted of mail fraud or wire fraud, Walker Sumchai faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each conviction.
If she is convicted of securities fraud, she faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine and the remaining securities-related counts carry a penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count of conviction.
If anyone believes they may have been a victim of Walker Sumchai, a form can be filled out online at https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/victim-services/seeking-victim-information/seeking-potential-victims-of-tongi-tupe-investment-program.