Federal prosecutors say a suburban investment manager who allegedly fled to Indonesia after he was charged in a scam to cheat people out of at least $500,000 has been returned in custody to Chicago.
Marcus Beam, 50, of Woodridge, fled the United States after he was released on bond in January 2020, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Prosecutors said U.S. Marshals found him in Bali, and he was detained last July and returned to Chicago on Wednesday.
His lawyer, Jeffrey Steinback, told the Chicago Sun-Times that “Marcus Beam and his family worked hard to facilitate his return, including the hiring of many different attorneys.”
Steinback declined to comment further.
Prison records show Beam is being held in the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center. He faces several counts of wire fraud and mail fraud, and he pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Wednesday.
When Beam missed his earlier arraignment in January 2020, U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox was told his car had broken down in Iowa, records show. When he missed another court appearance a few days later, defense attorney Mary Judge told Cox, “I don’t know where he is, judge, and I don’t expect that he’s going to be here today,” according to a transcript.
Cox immediately issued an arrest warrant at a prosecutor’s request, saying, “this is not acceptable.” Judge told Cox, “I understand.”
Judge sought this week to withdraw as Beam’s attorney, records show.
When Beam was arrested in Bali, police there said Beam had been making and selling sex videos to support himself. They also said Beam used a passport with a different name to escape the United States and then used several identities in Bali.
Beam claimed to be the owner of an investment company known as Chase Private Equity LLC, also known as New World Capital, prosecutors said. He also allegedly owned a virtual reality firm known as VR 360 LLC and a brokerage firm known as Imex Energy.
Prosecutors said he exaggerated his financial success and told people he’d invest their money in popular stocks like Uber and Lyft, as well as in gold, art and real estate. Instead, he spent it on rent, vehicle loans and by making purchases at Walmart and Ikea, according to the feds.