Haojia Miao pleads guilty to Krstic Ponzi wire fraud
Haojia Miao has pled guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Miao (aka Haljia Miao and Stan Miao), is part of Kristijan Krstic’s Ponzi empire. He was arrested in California in October 2020.
Count one of Miao’s indictment sees him admit he
and others, helped create, promote, market, and organize fraudulent investment platforms, including Option Giants, Options Rider, Bancde Options, Aeon Options, Banking Option, Instant Options, Fast Options, Elite Options, and others.
Miao and others, created, promoted, marketed, and organized the fraudulent investment platforms from China, Australia, the Philippines, and Serbia.
As per Miao’s plea agreement, at sentencing he faces
- up to 20 years in prison;
- a maximum $250,000 find, or twice what he gained/or his victims lost;
- up to three years of supervised release;
- restitution to his victims; and
- forfeiture of property.
The plea agreement struck will see prosecutors recommend Miao be sentenced to no more than 84 months (7 years).
Miao’s plea agreement was filed on December 8th. The court has yet to approve the agreement.
Miao’s boss, Kristijan Krstic, stands accused of orchestrating a $70+ million Ponzi empire.
Krstic was scheduled to be extradited to the US. Serbian authorities instead released Krstic in July, after which he promptly fled.
Krstic’s whereabouts remain unknown. He and the remaining defendants are scheduled to face trial next March.
Update 9th February 2022 – Miao’s guilty plea has been accepted. He is currently scheduled to be sentenced on May 26th, 2022.
Update 23rd August 2022 – I don’t have an update on Miao’s sentencing other than it remains “scheduled” beyond May 26th.
On August 17th Miao sought a change to his bail conditions. Miao wanted to remove the curfew restriction in place.
Removing the curfew restriction will allow the defendant to exercise the freedom to travel throughout the State of California for work or other events, which was previously provided to him by the Court.
However, the defendant would still be required to seek approval from probation if he needs to travel out of state.
Miao’s motion was referred to to a Magistrate Judge, who denied the request on August 18th.
Notably, Defendant does not identify any specific hardship caused by having the curfew which, in this case, the previous magistrate judge deemed necessary to reasonably ensure Defendant’s appearance as required and the safety of the community or another person.
And as Defendant’s motion indicates, Defendant presently awaits sentencing, having pled guilty.
I’ll continue to monitor the case docket for updates.
Article updated with Miao’s sentencing date.
No update on Miao’s sentencing date. Update on request to change bail conditions.