Brookville man sentenced for role in Ponzi Scheme

first_imgBROOKVILE, Ind. – A Brookville man will have an extended prison stay after being sentenced this week for his role in a Tri-State Ponzi scheme.Jerry Smith, of Brookville, pleaded guilty in Franklin County Circuit Court last month to five felony counts of criminal securities fraud.Investigators say Smith, and co-conspirator Jason Snelling, ran an $8.9 million scheme selling unregistered investments while working for OneAmerica Securities.Instead of investing clients’ money as promised, the pair used the funds to pay for personal expenses, authorities said.Smith was sentenced this week to 20 years in prison and 20 years on probation. The judge ordered he pay $410,189 in restitution.Jail time will run concurrently with the 65-month federal jail sentence Smith is serving for mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion, related to the Ponzi scheme.Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s Prosecution Assistance Unit assisted in the investigation.“Smith’s actions were deplorable and I’m pleased we were able to add additional jail time to his sentence,” said Secretary Lawson. “He took advantage of people who knew and trusted him. Plus, he never registered his products as required by law. This combination is typical of what we see in so many Ponzi schemes. I encourage all investors to protect themselves by checking with my office before investing, even if you know the person.”Securities Commissioner Carol Mihalik commented, “I would like to thank Franklin County Prosecutor Mel Wilhelm for his continued work on this case.”“Our offices have been collaborating on this case for almost five years now. Thanks to the continued cooperation between state and local officials, we have been able to hold Smith accountable for his actions and maximize his sentence.”last_img

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