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Former Arizona DPS official wanted in connection with $9 million fraud scheme

Posted at 9:45 AM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 21:05:06-04

A former Arizona Department of Public Safety official is wanted by the FBI in connection with a $9 million fraud scheme.

Frederick Arias, 54, reportedly told investors that "The Joseph Project" would offer them safe, secure and guaranteed profits. Instead, Arias is accused of withdrawing investor funds for personal expenses and wired funds overseas. This reportedly occurred between December 2015 and October 2017.

In June 2019, Arias was charged with conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, theft, forgery and other charges by the Superior Court of the State of Arizona and in Maricopa County. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was taken into custody in Washington.

He was indicted later that month on 17 charges related to the fraud scheme and failed to appear, so another arrest warrant was issued.

Officials say Arias worked for the department from September, 1987 - June, 2008 as a patrol officer and in both Maricopa County and Pinal County as a detective.

Arias has been federally charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and is still wanted. The FBI is offering up to $25,000 for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Arias is said to be about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, just over 200 pounds, and speaks Spanish and English. He has ties to or may visit Canada, Norway, Australia, Czech Republic and the Dominican Republic.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the local FBI office, American Embassy or Consulate.

Frederick Arias