Indiana Secretary of State Announces Arrest and Charges in Southeast Indiana Investment Scheme
Funds allegedly spent on extravagant lifestyles of two men charged with overseeing the loss of three million dollars of investor money.
INDIANAPOLIS (June 7, 2011) – An investigation by Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White’s Prosecution Assistance Unit (PAU) has led to the filing of criminal charges against Jerry A. Smith of Brookville, Indiana and Jasen M. Snelling of Cincinnati, Ohio. Smith and Snelling were charged late last week in the Dearborn County, Indiana Superior Court No. 1 with eighteen felony violations each, including charges of securities fraud and theft. Smith was arrested on Thursday, and today in Dearborn Superior Court No. 1, bail for Smith was set in the amount of $200,000 cash or $1 million surety. A pre-trial date for Smith was set for August 31, 2011.
The charges filed by Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard allege that Smith and Snelling sold unregistered securities in a scheme that resulted in over three million dollars lost by investors and used victims’ funds for personal expenses instead of investments. Smith and Snelling are not registered to sell securities nor did they register any of the securities sold as required by Indiana law. The highest class felony charged is a Class C. Both Smith and Snelling face similar securities fraud charges in Franklin County, Indiana, where criminal charges were filed earlier this year as a result of this same investigation by the PAU.
“Hoosiers should learn as much as possible about the person offering the investment, as well as the investment itself, when giving their hard-earned money to others for investment purposes.” said Secretary White. “Indiana investors can learn about a person’s work history, licensing status and any disciplinary actions on our http://www.indianainvestmentwatch.com/ website.”
According to the probable cause affidavit, Smith and Snelling worked together under the company names CityFund Advisory and Dunhill Investment Advisories Ltd. Three Dearborn County victims allegedly made investments with the companies totaling more than $400,000. Records obtained by PAU investigators show investor monies going into the accounts of CityFund and Dunhill investments, and records show expenditures from CityFund and Dunhill investments to pay for personal expenses of Smith and Snelling: including credit cards, mortgages, vacations, vehicles, orthodontia, and plastic surgery; with no money being traded since 2008.
At some time, Smith and Snelling changed the name of CityFund and Dunhill investments to Mobius Trading.
Trial dates for Smith and Snelling in Dearborn County have not been set at this time. Smith and Snelling have a trial date of July 13, 2011, for the criminal charges filed in Franklin County.
In addition, a civil asset freeze filed by the Indiana Securities Division in Franklin County in October of 2010 is still pending. The injunction order in the asset freeze, which is still in effect, ordered Smith and Snelling to stop investing, selling, redeeming, transferring or otherwise disposing of any financial assets.
The charges filed against Smith and Snelling are merely allegations, and Smith and Snelling are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
For more information on how to avoid becoming a victim of investment fraud, visit www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com.
About the Prosecution Assistance Unit
The Prosecution Assistance Unit was created within the Enforcement Section of the Securities Division to assist law enforcement agencies in prosecuting white collar criminals. The Unit operates under the direction and supervision of the Securities Commissioner and the Senior Investigator.
Deputy Chief of Staff
Office of Indiana Secretary of State Charles White