LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today returned an 11-count indictment that alleges a Santa Barbara man stole approximately $12 million from victims who were promised their money would be used to purchase annuities from Swiss insurance companies.

            Darrell Arnold Aviss, 63, of Santa Barbara, was charged today with five counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering. Aviss was arrested June 18 pursuant to a criminal complaint, and he was subsequently ordered held without bond.

            According to the indictment filed this afternoon in United States District Court, Aviss ran the scheme from at least 2012 through last summer, soliciting money from people who wanted to purchase annuities from insurance companies based in Switzerland. Aviss claimed the Swiss annuities he offered were safe and secure, and, in some instances, he allegedly told victims the annuities would pay interest…

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