In connection with two high-yield investment fraud schemes, a California man who was extradited from Mexico on March 8 entered a guilty plea today. He admitted to conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud as well as mail fraud and money laundering.
According to court records, 64-year-old Malibu resident Daniel Thomas Broyles Sr., also known as Dan Thomas, aka Daniel Cruz Torrez, took part in a high-yield investment fraud scam using the fictitious Niyato Industries Inc.
Broyles admitted to planning to deceive Niyato investors along with the company’s CEO Robert Leslie Stencil, 65, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and others.
Broyles acknowledged that he, along with Stencil and others, misrepresented Niyato as a company that manufactured electric vehicles and converted automobiles to run on compressed natural gas.
In truth, Broyles was aware of—or purposefully withheld knowledge of—the fact that Niyato was merely a fictitious company lacking any operational infrastructure or proprietary technology, and that almost all investor funds were being distributed among the co-conspirators rather than being used to advance Niyato’s business.
After learning that Niyato was the subject of an investigation by federal law enforcement in June 2016, Broyles moved to Mexico.
Broyles acknowledged that he moved to a new residence in Mexico and started using the pseudonym “Daniel Cruz Torrez” to evade federal law enforcement officers and hinder the federal government’s investigation after learning of his indictment in August 2016.
Broyles also entered a separate guilty plea for his part in a second high-yield investment fraud involving EarthWater Limited, according to court records.
Broyles acknowledged collaborating to sell EarthWater stock with the company’s CEO, Cengiz Jan Comu, 61, of Dallas, Texas, and others.
Additionally, Broyles acknowledged that he and others made a number of false and misleading claims, including one that claimed EarthWater used the funds obtained from victim investors to build and run the company’s operations.
In actuality, Broyles, Comu, and their fellow conspirators had decided to primarily use the victim monies for their own gain.
In connection with the Niyato scam, Broyles entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, one crime of mail fraud, and one count of money laundering.
In connection with the EarthWater scheme, Broyles also admitted guilt to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
His sentencing is set for a later time. For the money laundering charge, Broyles may receive up to 10 years in jail, 20 years for the mail fraud charge, and 30 years for each conspiracy charge.
The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory considerations will be taken into account by a federal district court judge when determining any punishment.
In relation to the Niyato fraud, seven further defendants have already been found guilty, including Stencil, who was found guilty after a three-week jury trial and given a 135-month prison sentence.
Comu, who will be sentenced on September 7, is one of nine defendants who have admitted guilt in relation to the EarthWater scheme.
In the EarthWater case, three additional defendants are awaiting trial on the accusations detailed in a superseding indictment that was submitted on November 6, 2019, in the Northern District of Texas.
The trial is set to start on October 3.
The announcement was made by Inspector in Charge Tommy Coke of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Atlanta Division, Inspector in Charge Eric Shen of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Criminal Investigations Group,
U.S. Attorney Dena J. King for the Western District of North Carolina, U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham for the Northern District of Texas, and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
The Fiscalia General de la Republica (FGR), a branch of the Mexican government, made a key contribution to Broyles’ extradition to the US. The Office of International Affairs of the Justice Department also contributed significantly to Broyles’ arrest and extradition.
This matter is being looked into by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Broyles was brought to the US by the US Marshals Service from Mexico.
Both cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christopher Fenton of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division.
The prosecution of the EarthWater case is being handled by Trial Attorney Theodore Kneller of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Walters of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.