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9/11 'entrepreneur' on fraud rap

Bogus face recognition system

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A Californian man who claimed to be developing post-9/11 face recognition system has been arrested by Feds probing allegations of fraud.

Ross Rojek, 36, of Sacramento in California, is charged with wire and mail fraud in relation to the operations of a business called Face Information Technology (AKA Face IT), AP reports. FBI investigators also allege in an affidavit made public on Monday that Rojek ran a company called American Equity Group LLC under the alias of Jason Williams.

Rojek allegedly told investors he was developing an advanced face recognition system capable of identifying terrorist suspects. The business was promoted through unsolicited phone calls backed up by an allegedly bogus prospectus.

These approaches resulted in the investment of at least $467,000 by 32 people into Face IT. This money was quickly milked through a series of cash withdrawals, according to bank records.

A further 47 investors put around $590,000 into American Equity Group, a San Francisco-based "real estate investment trust". Part of this money ($218,900) found its way into the coffers of American Entertainment Group - President Ross Rojek - while the rest of the money was allegedly siphoned off from the business.

Federal investigators have thus far been unable to find any evidence of progress on the Face IT project.

"It doesn't seem to be anything he [Rojek] was seriously working on," Karen Twomey Ernst, an FBI spokeswoman, told AP. ®

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