LAS VEGAS — A German national wanted in his native country for allegedly using his Florida financial firm to orchestrate a pyramid scheme that defrauded European investors out of more than $100 million was deported Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and turned over to German authorities.
Ulrich Felix Anton Engler, aka Joseph Miller or Joseph Walter, 51, arrived onboard a commercial aircraft in Frankfurt Friday morning, escorted by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers. Engler was arrested on immigration violations here last month by officers from ICE, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Engler was the subject of an Interpol Red Notice issued in March 2010 that alleges his business, Private Commercial Office based in Cape Coral, Fla., falsely claimed to offer day trades of stock shares and other securities. Engler is accused of using a marketing company he set up on the Internet to defraud numerous investors in Germany, Switzerland and Austria out of nearly $101 million. Once the overseas investors transferred funds to the United States, they were no longer able to access their money.
"The investors who were bilked by this suspect should gain some satisfaction now that he has been returned to Germany to answer for his alleged crimes," said ICE Director John Morton. "Mr. Engler's capture and deportation should serve as a warning to other international fugitives who mistakenly believe they can elude justice by fleeing to the U.S. and masquerading as someone else."
At the time the Interpol Red Notice was issued, Engler was believed to be residing in Florida, but his exact whereabouts were unknown. In 2011, the USMS, in conjunction with Interpol Washington, began reexamining the case and determined that Engler had relocated to Nevada and was perpetuating fraud schemes there under the name Joseph Miller. Interpol and USMS requested ICE's assistance in locating Engler since he was in the United States illegally.
In addition to ICE, the USMS and Interpol, several other agencies provided substantial assistance with this case, including the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Nevada Department of Public Safety and the Nevada Department of Investigations.