LOS ANGELES — A Montrose man pleaded not guilty Monday to a federal charge of defrauding investors out of more than $1 million via an adult entertainment website scam.
Patrick Khalafian, 51, was arrested Friday on a single-count federal grand jury indictment charging him with wire fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. After entering his plea, a Dec. 15 trial date was set, and he was ordered released on $50,000 bond.
If convicted, Khalafian would face up to 20 years in federal prison, prosecutors said.
The indictment alleges that, from November 2009 to October 2016, Khalafian solicited investments for businesses — including 168 Entertainment LLC, Empire Entertainment Group Inc. and EEG LLC — that purportedly developed and operated adult entertainment websites.
Khalafian allegedly represented that victims’ investments would be used for business operations, including developing software and the platform for the proposed websites, paying for servers, hiring…