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Indiana sues estate of alleged Ponzi schemer

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The state has gone to court to freeze the assets of the estate of a dead Kokomo investment adviser so the money can provide possible restitution to victims of a Ponzi scheme who might include former National Football League players, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Thursday.

The Indiana attorney general's office filed the lawsuit in Howard Superior Court in Kokomo against the estate of Richard Schwartz, whom Lawson alleges bilked clients across the country out of $5 million to $10 million.

"My team is working to seize Schwartz's $13 million life insurance policy and other assets in an effort to return his ill-gotten gains to investors," Lawson said in a news release.

While Lawson said the scheme's victims possibly include ex-NFL players, including former Seattle Seahawks quarterback David Krieg

Schwartz killed himself in August, one month after Lawson's office began investigating numerous investor complaints against him.

Schwartz operated RAS & Associates, a Kokomo company offering insurance products, annuities and general wealth management advice. Lawson said he persuaded his clients to liquidate their insurance holdings to invest in fictional securities that he said would receive higher interest rates than their previous investments.

Instead of investing his clients' money, Schwartz used the funds to sustain his lifestyle and pay for business expenses. As Schwartz acquired new investors, he used some of their money to pay interest payments to existing clients, which is typical in a Ponzi scheme.

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  2. What became of this project? Anyone know?

  3. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

  4. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

  5. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

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