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If you have suffered a financial loss as a result of your association with Ethos Asset Management and/or Carlos Manuel da Silva Santos, please contact HSI at

November 15, 2023San Diego, CA, United StatesFinancial Crimes

HSI San Diego case results in CEO of San Diego financial firm charged in loan scam

SAN DIEGO — The CEO of San Diego-based Ethos Asset Management, Inc., which offers financing to international businesses, was arrested in New Jersey Sunday night in connection with fraud charges in the Southern District of California. This investigation is being conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego.

“HSI is committed to exposing individuals and companies who prey on people through manipulation and false promises in order to gain trust and exploit their finances for illicit gain,” said HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz. “This investigation revealed fraudulent activities. This defendant will now be held accountable for his actions.”

Carlos Manuel da Silva Santos, 29, of Portugal, was taken into custody in Newark, New Jersey, as he arrived in the United States from abroad. Santos made his initial appearance there on Monday after the United States unsealed a complaint charging him with wire fraud conspiracy related to a loan scam. Santos is accused of orchestrating the fraud through his company, San Diego-based Ethos Asset Management, Inc.

According to the complaint, Santos required prospective borrowers to provide an upfront fee in an amount equal to a certain percentage of the loan amount. However, upon receipt of the upfront fee, Santos and Ethos did not disburse the loan as agreed upon by the parties. Santos used the upfront fees to repay other prospective borrowers, to issue commissions to his co-conspirators, and to pay for personal expenses.

The complaint alleges that to lure prospective borrowers and to obtain lines of credit from financial institutions, Santos manipulated Ethos’ balance sheets and real financial account statements to artificially inflate Ethos’ net worth. For example, the complaint alleges that Santos induced at least one victim to pay an upfront fee in excess of $8 million by representing Ethos had $359,088,190.22 in a specific brokerage account, but records established that Ethos had no such account. Similarly, the complaint contends Santos altered Ethos bank account statements to inflate bank account balances to prospective borrowers, sometimes by more than $100 million than what was deposited in the account.

If you have suffered a financial loss as a result of your association with Ethos Asset Management and/or Carlos Manuel da Silva Santos, please contact HSI at

This case is being prosecuted by the Southern District of California.

The charges and allegations contained in a complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 11/15/2023