Rienzi Edwards—Fraudulent High-yield Investment Scheme

Rochester stockbroker fraud attorneyRienzi Edwards Allegedly Orchestrated a $50 Million Fraudulent High-yield Investment Scheme Known as “Cities Upliftment Programme” (CUP) Involving both American and Global Investors

Rienzi Edwards, a Sri Lankan investor, allegedly operated a fraudulent $50 million high-yield investment scheme involving both American and global investors, according to an Indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Southern District of New York) currently under review by attorneys Alan Rosca and James Booker.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office states that Edwards allegedly promised investors “exponential returns on investments” supposedly supervised by the New York Federal Reserve and supported by the US government, said Indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office note.

Edwards also allegedly, the Indictment further alleges, did not have government-backed support and had no true investment plan, said Indictment reports.

Rienzi Edwards, Michael Jacobs, Ruby Handler-Jacobs, F.K. Ho, Lawrence Lester and Rachel Gendreau, from June 2013 through August of 2016, allegedly orchestrated and executed a fraudulent high-yield investment program known as the “Cities Upliftment Programme,” or CUP, said Indictment states.

The scheme was, according to the Indictment, allegedly principally designed and operated by Edwards, and was helped by Jacobs and Handler-Jacobs, and was also allegedly marketed to investors globally via brokers, including Ho, Lester, and Gendreau.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara reinforces many of the main points of the Rienzi Edwards’ case: “Edwards and his co-defendants allegedly concocted and carried out an audacious scam, promising investors exponential returns on investments they claimed were overseen by the New York Federal Reserve and backed by the U.S. government.  In reality, it was all a lie; there was no government-backed program and no plan to invest, only an alleged plan to steal the investors’ money.”

The Peiffer Rosca Wolf securities lawyers are currently investigating Rienzi Edwards’ alleged high-yield investment scheme and would like to talk to investors.

Rienzi Edwards and Handler-Jacobs Are Each Looking at Charges of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

Rienzi Edwards and Handler-Jacobs, 64, of Albuquerque, New Mexico are each facing charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to Documents from the U.S. Department of Justice currently being reviewed by Alan Rosca and James Booker.

What is more, Edwards and Handler-Jacobs are also facing counts of impersonating employees of the United States, said Documents report.

The trouble started when the aforementioned defendants allegedly marketed the aforementioned CUP to investors as a “highly exclusive, invitation-only, public-private investment partnership designed to raise capital and generate large returns through a purported trading program run by the New York Fed”, according to the DOJ Documents.

The aforementioned defendants also allegedly made promises to investors that the CUP would produce extremely high returns on their investments, even as much as $150 million for every $1 million invested, a tremendous profit, the DOJ Documents report.

The defendants also allegedly have made claims that half of the returns would be put into revitalization efforts of American cities trying to come back from the 2008 financial crisis, the DOJ Documents note.

What is more, the defendants allegedly told investors that their money would be returned at the rate of $1 million per day for 75 banking days and also allegedly told numerous other purported lies to victims to convince them to invest, the DOJ Documents report.

Furthermore, on multiple occasions, the defendants allegedly sent, or caused to be sent, investment contracts, guarantees, and correspondence, the DOJ Documents note.

The aforementioned Documents were printed on purported New York Fed stationary holding the names and purported signatures of New York Fed officials, including the president, certain board members, and other senior officials of the New York Fed, the DOJ Documents report.

Finally, Edwards and Handler-Jacobs allegedly pretended to be New York Fed officials at person-to-person meetings and even purportedly making phone calls with investors to persuade them to invest in the CUP, the DOJ Documents note.

The DOJ Documents go on to not that rather than holding investor funds as stated, the aforementioned defendants allegedly ran off with the cash.

Securities Lawyers Investigating

The Peiffer Rosca Wolf securities lawyers often represent investors who lose money as a result of alleged fraud schemes and are currently investigating Rienzi Edwards’ alleged fraudulent high-yield investment scheme. They take most cases of this type on a contingency fee basis and advance the case costs, and only get paid for their fees and costs out of money they recover for their clients.

Investors who believe they lost money as a result of Rienzi Edwards’ alleged fraudulent high-yield investment scheme may contact the securities lawyers at Peiffer Rosca Wolf, Alan Rosca or James Booker, for a free no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 888-998-0520 or via e-mail at arosca@prwlegal.com or jbooker@prwlegal.com.

Alan Rosca (1157 Posts)

Alan is a securities lawyer. He also teaches Securities Regulation at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He focuses his legal practice on complex commercial and financial litigation and arbitration, particularly in the areas of securities and investment fraud. His office is in Cleveland, Ohio.


In our legal system, every person is innocent until and unless found guilty by a court of law or a tribunal. Whenever we reference “allegations” or charges that are “alleged,” such allegations or charges have not been proven, and are merely accusations, not findings of fault, as of the date of the blog. We do not have, nor do we undertake, a duty to continue to monitor or follow cases about which we report, and/or to publish subsequent blogs regarding various developments that may occur in such cases. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research regarding any such cases and any developments that may or may not have occurred in such cases.