Contact: Kate Shepherd
Criminal Charges Filed in Howard County
Indianapolis, IN -- Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today praises the filing of criminal charges in a securities fraud case initiated by his office. The investigation has led to nine felony counts filed in Howard County against Timothy Lee Taylor. Taylor is charged with three counts of selling unregistered securities, three counts of selling securities without being a registered agent and three counts of the fraudulent sale of securities. All nine counts are Class C felonies, which are each punishable by up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Taylor did business in Kokomo under the name Premier Investment Club. Investigators believe that Taylor reported returns on investments year after year when in reality no returns were realized. In fact, two of the ventures in which the club invested were closed by the United States government because of fraudulent activity on the part of their creators. The Hoosiers Taylor is charged with defrauding had invested at least $260,000. The club operated from 1998 through 2002, and documents indicate a total of more than $1.3 million was solicited from 15 investors. It appears about $965,000 was distributed to some of the investors as supposed "interest earned."
"This case illustrates the need for Hoosiers to do their homework before investing," Rokita said. "Be sure to get a complete prospectus and make sure that any investments are registered with the state before you buy. We are cracking down on white collar criminals, but the best remedy is to avoid becoming a victim in the first place."
Rokita's office referred the case to Howard County Prosecutor James Fleming, who under Indiana law has the authority to file criminal charges. "Prosecutor Fleming and his staff worked closely with Richard Neff, Tasha Gail, and Silvia Miller from my securities division to bring this case to the charging phase. We will continue to work as a team as this case goes through the court system," Rokita said.
Rokita reminds Hoosiers that investments and their sellers should be registered with Rokita's office. Hoosiers with questions about investments should call 1-800-223-8791 or visit Rokita's website, www.sos.IN.gov.