Former Dayton, Ohio-area insurance agent and investment adviser has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of insurance fraud and conducting a “Ponzi” scheme targeting elderly consumers.
The Ohio Department of Insurance reported that John Gregory Schmidt was sentenced after a joint investigation conducted by the Ohio DOI and the Ohio Department of Commerce revealed Schmidt had been operating the scheme for more than a decade.
The Ohio Department of Insurance revoked Schmidt’s Ohio insurance license for insurance law violations in June 2018. In December 2018, Schmidt, of Bellbrook, was indicted on 124 counts of forgery, two counts of theft from an elderly or disabled adult, one count of telecommunications fraud, and one count of fraud or deceit by an investment adviser.
Evidence showed he stole nearly $1 million from client accounts and generated fraudulent account statements to conceal his scheme. In April 2019, Schmidt was found guilty of the charges brought against him.
While operating Schmidt Investment Strategies Group, Schmidt withdrew money from client accounts and annuities without their knowledge or consent, the insurance department said. To conceal his activities from clients, Schmidt generated fraudulent financial statements, intentionally misrepresenting their account balances. When clients sought to withdraw funds they no longer had, Schmidt would steal money from other individuals’ accounts.
The Ohio Department of Insurance, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Securities, and the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office worked together to secure the conviction and sentence, the Ohio DOI said.
Source: Ohio DOI
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