CHARLOTTE – A Durham man who is a UNC Chapel Hill employee pleaded guilty on Thursday in connection with a $9.5 million investment fraud scheme, according to a release from the North Carolina Middle District U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

Nayeem Choudhury, 27, solicited investments for his company, Dream Venture Capital Group, by promising victims high rates of return and telling victims they could invest their capital with no risk. He falsely marketed the company as a fund that traded in options contracts.

Choudhury also falsely represented to investors that Dream Venture Capital Group was profitable and that it had a proven track record of successfully trading options. Meanwhile, he lost over $5 million in investor trading options.

Choudhury also used a portion of investor money for personal expenses, including the purchase of an $85,000 Mercedes-Benz and Ponzi-style payments to other investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency action to halt Choudhury’s scheme in July, according to an SEC release. As of July 12, Choudhury and Dream Venture had only repaid investors $3.5 million.

For more details, read the full story at Business North Carolina.