Fraudulent investor sent to federal prison for 5.5 years

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Fishers man who stole millions from investors is heading to federal prison for the crimes.

51-year-old John Marcum got 17 unsuspecting investors to pass millions on to him through his firm Guaranty Reserves Trust, LLC. Instead of properly investing the money, investigators said Marcum used the money to bankroll his lavish lifestyle.

Marcum was accused of using millions to buy luxury cars, rent a Geist-area home and fund a vacation to a Playboy Club in Los Angeles.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is cracking down on white collar fraud,” said United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler. “In order to protect the financial markets of this country, those who lie, cheat, and steal from unsuspecting investors must go to federal prison. Mr. Marcum stole the life’s savings and retirement accounts of his clients to fund a lavish lifestyle. Judge Magnus-Stinson realized this and sent Mr. Marcum directly to federal prison for five and one half years.”

During the sentencing, one 70-year-old widow said that Marcum squandered the $600,000 she received from a lawsuit related the the accidental death of her husband. Six victims said Marcum stole their life savings and they would be working for the rest of their lives because of it.

“Investment fraud schemes can take many forms, but ultimately lead to the loss of innocent victims’ hard earned money. There is a persistent need to diligently investigate these types of crimes, and the FBI will continue to work closely with our partner agencies to ensure criminal activity is identified, investigated, and disrupted,” said W. Jay Abbott, FBI Special Agent in Charge.

In addition to the 66 months in federal prison, Marcum must make restitution of $3.9 million to the victims and serve three years of supervised release after his sentence.

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office offered these tips for consumers:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited offers to invest.
  • Don’t believe everything you’re told. Take time to do your own research on the investment’s potential-and on the person making the offer.
  • Be wary of investment opportunities that offer unusually high yields.
  • Check with federal and state securities regulators to find out if there are any complaints against the company or person you are considering doing business with.
  • Request written financial information-such as a prospectus, annual reports, or financial statements-then compare the written information to what you were told.
  • Check with a trusted financial adviser, broker, or attorney about any investments you are considering.
  • And if you think you’ve been scammed, report it to the Securities and Exchange Commission, your state’s securities regulator, or a law enforcement agency.

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