Two men have been
charged in federal court with conspiracy to commit securities fraud,
securities fraud, and wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the
Northern District of Indiana announced on Thursday.
Charged are Richard
E. Gearhart, 66, of Lowell, and George R. McKown, 65, of Indianapolis.
documents filed in this case,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “it is
alleged that the defendants sold securities to individuals who transferred
their traditional IRAs, pensions, annuities, 401ks, and cash to invest with
Gearhart and McKown, through Asset Preservation Specialists, Inc., after
being guaranteed that their original investment was safe and sound and
promising a guaranteed rate of return. Gearhart and McKown were not
registered with the SEC or the State of Indiana to sell securities.”
“Gearhart had all
the warning signs of a typical Ponzi scheme,” Indiana Secretary of State
Connie Lawson said. “He took advantage of people he knew and wasn’t
registered with my office to sell securities.”
Lawson reminded all
potential investors to check with the Secretary of State to make sure both
the broker and the broker’s product are registered, no matter how well they
think they know the purported broker or how successful the broker appears.