US officials say 3 people indicted in Vegas-based Ponzi fraud preyed on Japanese investors

Federal authorities are seeking the arrest of the head of a Las Vegas investment business and two of former Tokyo-based executives on a criminal indictment alleging they headed a $1.5 billion Ponzi-style fraud.

MRI International Inc. chief Edwin Fujinaga of Las Vegas and Junzo Suzuki and Paul Suzuki, both of Tokyo, are charged in an indictment filed Wednesday with eight mail fraud and nine wire fraud counts.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada also charges the 68-year-old Fujinaga with three counts of money laundering.

FBI and U.S. attorney officials say arrest warrants were issued for each defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell says thousands of Japanese victims were defrauded from 2009 to 2013 in a scheme involving promises to collect accounts owed to medical providers.