Hamilton Co. man charged in multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

John Marcum. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Hamilton County man who called himself a modern day Robin Hood is facing federal charges.

John Marcum is accused of swindling more than $4 million from 16 investors in a money laundering scheme. A 10 a.m. press conference is being held in downtown Indianapolis by the U.S. Attorney’s office, FBI and IRS where it is being announced Marcum will be charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

In an I-Team 8 exclusive, Marcum talked one-on-one in 2013 about his role in the Ponzi scheme and why he offered to commit suicide to pay back his victims.

The SEC has accused Marcum of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme that tricked investors out of their retirement. He used the money to invest in Southern Kitchen, a soul food restaurant in Fishers, and a bounty hunters reality show.

Marcum lived the Hollywood lifestyle on the red carpet, hanging with celebrities and managing the career of race car driver Arie Lyuendyk. His other company, XYQ, was a big sponsor of IndyCar and Playboy parties. According to SEC court records, Marcum used investor money “to finance that lifestyle.” A half million dollars were used for “luxury car payments, airline tickets, expensive meals, hotels.” Along with fake monthly statements he gave fake documents showing he was worth nearly $300 million, according to court records. They go on to state, “In fact, Marcum is nearly broke … his accounts contain less than $2,000.”

Watch the original, exclusive I-Team 8 interview below:

Read the charging documents released Friday:


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