A Vista man who posed as an electronics broker operating a Ponzi scheme was arraigned Wednesday.
The grand jury indicted Steven Bartko, 68, for mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. The indictment alleges he promised returns that he never paid.
Steven Bartko claims his business, Starfire Technologies, provided electronics to government contractors. He promised his investors 5 to 8 percent in monthly returns.
He created false invoices that claimed he held contracts with government contractors. He also issued his investors false account statements, which showed he was receiving positive returns.
Bartko explained on the now disabled web site that his company received orders from Fortune 500 companies, the aerospace industry and the military for circuit boards and electronic technologies. He stated on the site that the investments support the initial purchase of the products.