The US Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen the assets of a man it says is running a Ponzi scheme involving US and New Zealand-based companies.
It alleges Christopher A.T. Pedras is fronting sham investment opportunities ranging from a bank trading programme to kidney dialysis clinics.
The Washington-based commission says Mr Pedras has homes in California and New Zealand.
It alleges the Ponzi scheme involved Mr Pedras's company serving as a link between global banks, with an investment programme.
When his company could not pay the 4% - 8% monthly returns, Mr Pedras and his partners steered investors into another programme.
One scheme claimed to increase investments by 80% by funding kidney dialysis clinics in New Zealand.
The Commission says Mr Pedras raised more than $US5.6 million from at least 50 investors in the US since July 2010.