A Danville father and daughter were arrested and charged in federal court in San Francisco today with operating a $2.8 million investment fraud concerning an Internet startup, according to U.S. prosecutors.

U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello said Sholeh Hamedani, 42, and her father, Nasser Hamedani, 71, both of Danville, were charged in a 12-count grand jury indictment unsealed today.

Russoniello said the charges include securities fraud, false statements to accountants, falsifying records, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy in an alleged investment scheme concerning a startup company called The Children’s Internet Inc.

The U.S. attorney said the father and daughter are accused of using $1.2 million of investor funds to pay personal expenses, including gambling, automobile and mortgage costs.

The indictment also alleges they used hidden accounts to trade company shares and generate additional profits of $1.6 million for themselves.

The company was intended to develop and market software that would allow children access to the Internet while protecting them from inappropriate content.

Russoniello said the defendants were arrested this morning and brought before a federal magistrate in San Francisco for an initial appearance.

They were granted release on $500,000 bonds and placed on home detention until their next appearance before U.S. Magistrate Edward Chen on Thursday.

The charges carry possible maximum sentences ranging from five to 25 years in prison upon conviction, but the actual penalty, if the defendants are convicted, would be based on consideration of federal sentencing guidelines.

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