Faiz M. Chowdhury allegedly lied about his educational background to defraud investors (Youtube screenshot)
The Irvine man was 50 years old with a fake academic background, a fanciful rags-to-riches story, and a promise to usher in “the next era of humanity” with cutting-edge nanotechnology that can cure cancer and detect counterfeit products. He defrauded more than $26.4 million from investors. Federal regulators say antidotes for snake venom will also be provided.
Faiz M. Chowdhury, 54, who owns Irvine-based DTI Holdings and Quantum Age, falsely claimed to be a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained physicist and intellectual genius. , an American said, defrauded venture capitalists in the United States and Asia. A Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit was filed in federal court.
According to the SEC, Chaudhry treated the DTI and QAC accounts as his “personal piggy bank” from May 2018 to December 2022. He has invested a total of $19.8 million to support his lavish lifestyle, which includes international travel, gambling, luxury items for himself and his family, ATM withdrawals, and wire transfers to various companies he controls. It is said that he spent .
The remaining $6.6 million of the investment was used to pay for rent, salaries, equipment, insurance and other costs for Chaudhry’s two companies, according to the lawsuit filed in September.
The SEC is seeking a permanent injunction and an undisclosed penalty against Chaudhry for violating the anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws.
In a filing in federal district court earlier this month, Chaudhry’s attorney, Andrew Duffy, disputed the government’s claims. “We deny the allegations by the SEC and are defending ourselves against these actions,” he said.
‘Suffering’ from false allegations
Chaudhry, a dual U.S.-Bangladesh citizen, said in a phone interview that he was “distressed” by the SEC’s false allegations and blamed the misunderstanding on disgruntled investors seeking revenge. did.
“The complaint contains a lot of incorrect information and will be quickly disproved in court,” he said. “We develop products that are authentic and go to market. My vision is to create a world without hunger and pollution. It won’t happen overnight.”
Chaudhry said he came to the United States in 1997 to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science. He added that although he did not receive a PhD from MIT, he did receive a management qualification from a prestigious university.
Chaudhry describes himself as a visionary in the mold of Martin Luther King Jr., who uses technology to address poverty, hunger and pollution, and create equality for the planet’s population. He said he dreams of bringing it to fruition.
“I’ve tried to do good things for good people,” he said. “I am committed to bringing products to market that improve the quality of life. I am a servant of humanity.”
Investors are said to have been misled
Mr. Chowdhury will lead DTI as a holding company for cutting-edge technology businesses that use graphene, a two-dimensional carbon material known for its excellent electrical conductivity and mechanical stability, to build new advances in the health, energy and transportation sectors. He is said to have advertised this to investors.
To support that claim, he says that as a child in Bangladesh, village leaders identified him as an academic, and later the U.S. government recruited him to work on a top-secret program to develop graphene for military and commercial uses. It is said that he made up the story that he had hired the company. SEC. Chaudhry denies working for the government.
Chaudhry told Southern California News Group that the Bangladeshi village where he grew up had no electricity or running water, which motivated him to develop technology to address those problems.
The SEC’s lawsuit also alleges that Chaudhry falsely claimed to have served as a science adviser to President George W. Bush and later as an adviser and friend to the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). claims.
Chaudhry told investors that he is “pioneering scientific progress” at some of the country’s most prestigious research centers, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. made a false statement that he was a “person”. Say.
He also told investors that he was the original inventor of graphene, but due to the secrecy of his government work, he could not publicly credit his name on any patents, according to the SEC. He reportedly told them that he couldn’t do it.
Chaudhry denied claims that he discovered graphene, but admitted that he worked with leading scientists to develop the material as a cancer treatment.
“I have an enemy”
He blamed misinformation about his career and company on angry investors seeking to discredit him. “I have enemies,” he said. “One investor didn’t understand, was angry with me, and had the wrong idea.”
But one investor, who declined to disclose the amount of his losses and requested anonymity to avoid jeopardizing the SEC’s lawsuit, told Southern California News Group that Chaudhry’s intentions were crystal clear.
“Faiz Chowdhury has no moral compass, but he is a charming man with the ability to look you straight in the eye and smile and lie at the same time, while saying he is trying to help humanity in the background of a very sensitive government.” He has created a unique person,” the investor said. Graphene’s promise in biological sciences persuaded him to collaborate with Chowdhury. “He was targeting people who were not investment savvy but believed that technology could solve many problems.”
The SEC alleges that Chaudhry provided investors with grossly misleading financial projections that predicted astronomical returns in the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.
To conceal the misappropriation of investor funds, Chaudhry tightly controlled the finances of DTI and QAC and enlisted the help of family members with little or no financial experience, the SEC said.
By late 2019, some DTI investors were disillusioned, complaining that Chaudhry had misled them, mismanaged their investments, and made no progress toward commercializing graphene technology. Ta.
Cancer treatment claims
As a result, Chaudhry rebranded DTI and created QAC to separate a growing number of disgruntled investors from his ongoing efforts to recruit new investors, the SEC said.
Chaudhry announced QAC at a glitzy convention in Singapore on August 23, 2019, marking the beginning of the quantum era.
In a 42-minute YouTube video replete with a model dubbed “Quantum Girl” wearing a futuristic silver jumpsuit, he explains how QAC reduces human suffering, treats disease, and improves the environment. swore to protect.
“My eternal humans and my family, please embrace me with compassion and accept my presence, for I am one of you,” Chaudhry said from a darkened stage inside a crowded ballroom. Ta. “I may not look exactly like you, but I am just as beautiful as you because we all have Quantum Red in our hearts.”
In a video dated August 12, 2021, Chaudhry further explained how the quantum age will lead to a sustainable world.
When some DTI investors who did not buy into the Quantum Age mantra began demanding refunds, Chaudhry used some of the new investor funds raised by QAC to ponzi former DTI investors. He is said to have made payments such as:
The SEC said he also played with the emotions of some investors to gain their trust.
In one instance, knowing that an investor’s mother-in-law had recently died of cancer and that the issue was sensitive to him, Chaudhry held a vile item containing a black liquid in his hand. , allegedly made false statements to the audience. That included “a cure for cancer,” the complaint says, noting that neither DTI nor its affiliates have discovered or even attempted to develop a cure for cancer.
Chaudhry, who claims to have run a successful lab out of a 27,000-square-foot building in Irvine until a lack of funding forced him to close it in 2020, is extremely passionate about bringing his revolutionary cancer detection device to market. The drug said to be approaching.
“I’m building this business to help so many people’s lives,” he said.