BY JOSH FRIEDMAN
A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted a Santa Barbara man who allegedly stole approximately $12 million from victims who were promised their money would be used to buy annuities from Swiss insurance companies, but instead the funds went toward purchases like expensive watches, trips to Monaco and U2 concert tickets.
Darrel Arnold Aviss, 63, allegedly ran a Ponzi scheme that mostly stole from victims over the age of 60. Federal agents arrested Aviss on June 18.
Tuesday’s indictment, which charges Aviss with five counts of wire fraud and six counts related to money laundering, alleges the Santa Barbara man ran a scheme from about 2012 through last summer, soliciting funds from individuals who wanted to purchase annuities from insurance companies based in Switzerland. Aviss allegedly claimed the Swiss annuities he offered were safe and secure. In some cases, Aviss allegedly told victims the annuities would pay interest rates...