January 11, 2010, 2:52 PM EST
The host of a radio business program is accused of taking part in a $20 million investment fraud targeting Iranian-Americans in the Los Angeles area.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday that it's suing NewPoint Financial Services Inc., its two co-owners and its controller. The SEC got a court order freezing the company's assets.
Federal officials say NewPoint co-owner John Farahi marketed the scheme while hosting a daily Persian-language business program on radio station KIRN.
The SEC claims more than 100 people invested but most of the money wound up in executives' accounts. Some allegedly was used to build a mansion, and more than $18 million was lost on risky options trading.
Farahi's attorney, Gary Lincenberg, declined to comment on the lawsuit.