Waterford man charged in international, multi-million dollar scam

CREATED Dec. 17, 2013 - UPDATED: Dec. 17, 2013

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WATERFORD - A suburban Racine County man described as a friendly neighbor is accused of helping cheat would-be investors out millions of dollars.

James Warras, 67, was out on bail Monday.  He is ordered to appear at a Nevada Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas later this week.  
 
Court documents say this Wisconsin man served as executive vice president of an international corporation that promised investors 'astronomical' returns, but actually just pocketed the money.  
 
Victims gave the firm investments ranging from $200,000 to $1,200,000.
 
The other suspects are Anthony Brandel, 46, of Las Vegas; Joseph Micelli, 59, of Las Vegas; Sean Finn, 44, of Whitefish, Montana; Martin Schlaepfer, 55, of Zurich, Switzerland; and Hans-Jurg Lips, 50, of Zurich, Switzerland.   
 
The U.S. Department of Justice says Finn, Schalepfer and Lips remain at large.
 
The name of the company is the Malom Group AG.  Investigators say 'Malom' is an acronyn for "Make A Lot Of Money".  
 
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says the group used lies and forged documents to persuade clients to put money into bogus services.  The agency says Malom raised $11 million from U.S. investors.