NEW YORK, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- An Illinois man was charged Tuesday with using false claims of a large contract with the Canadian Department of Health in attempts at fraud.
Howard Leventhal, 56, of Long Grove, Ill., was arrested in Illinois, federal prosecutors said. He allegedly met with an FBI agent in New York posing as a potential investor in his company, Neovision USA.
Investigators allege Leventhal had already cheated a Florida company, Paragon Financial Group, out of $800,000. He allegedly faked documents that showed payments of millions of dollars from the Canadian health service.
"As alleged, Leventhal claimed to have lucrative connections within the Canadian government and cutting edge technology that could help save lives. In reality, his scheme was pure science fiction, complete with phony documents and a fictional medical device," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch said. "As part of his alternate reality, Leventhal impersonated Canadian government officials by creating phony government contracts, telephone numbers and email addresses. Investors thought they were advancing scientific technology; instead they were merely financing Leventhal's fraudulent scheme."
Leventhal appeared before a federal magistrate for a removal hearing.