Criminal Charges

Penrod Society thief sentenced to five years

April 27, 2010
Kathleen McLaughlin
Marion County Superior Court Judge Stanley Kroh sentenced Brandon Benker to three years in prison and two years in a Community Corrections program, in which he may be assigned to work release or home detention. Benker stole more than $380,000 from the group in 2008.
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Judge OKs sale of cemetery, funeral home company

April 14, 2010
Scott Olson
Pennsylvania company is one step closer to purchasing the Indianapolis-based Memory Gardens Management Corp., whose former owner pleaded guilty to theft and securities fraud.
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Schrenker: 'Data' show he tried to fake own death

March 15, 2010
 IBJ Staff and Associated Press
A former Fishers money manager facing fraud charges acknowledges in a newspaper interview that evidence indicates he was trying to fake his own death when he parachuted from his private plane that later crashed in a Florida swamp.
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Former attorney sentenced in fraud case

January 20, 2010
A former attorney who pleaded guilty to mail fraud has been sentenced to three years probation for submitting inflated bids on foreclosed homes to the company for which he worked and pocketing the difference.
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Indy man gets 2 years for extorting insurance firm

January 13, 2010
Associated Press
Kevin Stewart stole a computer server that contained the names and confidential information of 900,000 people.
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Former cemetery owner avoids prison time

January 8, 2010
Scott Olson
Robert E. Nelms received an eight-year sentence that will be served through a community corrections program after pleading guilty to theft and securities fraud.
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Johnson County woman guilty of securities fraud

January 7, 2010
Wanda Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison, with four years suspended, after pleading guilty Wednesday.
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Local funeral home operator interested in troubled Memory Gardens

December 16, 2009
Scott Olson
Indianapolis-based Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service & Crematory is one of two companies that have emerged as potential suitors of the embattled Memory Gardens Management Corp.
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Ex-Lampoon exec Dan Laikin admits to stock fraud

September 23, 2009
Greg Andrews
Carmel businessman Dan Laikin pleaded guilty this afternoon to participating in a fraudulent scheme to pump up the stock price of National Lampoon Inc., the Los Angeles-based entertainment company he led.
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Dodson Group hit crisis mode after trusted CFO suspected of theftRestricted Content

August 24, 2009
Peter Schnitzler
At first, small-business owner Jim Dodson figured the problem must be a technical glitch. During a routine analysis of aging unpaid invoices last September, one of his employees couldn’t tie the latest figures to the company’s ledger. Accounts receivable for his company, the Dodson Group, had been overstated by $2.7 million—double their true value. And $422,539 was missing from the firm’s coffers.
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BREAKING: Schrenker sentenced to 51 months in prison

August 19, 2009
 IBJ Staff and Associated Press
Indiana money manager Marcus Schrenker was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison today in Florida on charges that he deliberately crashed his plane to fake his own death and flee financial ruin, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
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Schrenker faces nine more charges in Indiana

August 19, 2009
 IBJ Staff
An Indiana money manager scheduled to be sentenced today in Florida on charges he deliberately crashed his plane to fake his death and flee financial ruin now faces more charges in his home state.
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BREAKING: Jury finds Premier's White guilty

August 18, 2009
Cory Schouten
A Marion County jury this evening found Christopher P. White guilty of three Class C felonies related to a $500,000 bad check he wrote last year in a last-ditch attempt to save his locally based development firm, Premier Properties USA Inc.
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Dodson Group CFO to plead guilty to wire fraud

August 18, 2009
Scott Olson
A former chief financial officer for The Dodson Group has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud after admitting to stealing $422,539 from the Indianapolis-based firm.
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Developer's fraud trial enters second day

August 18, 2009
Cory Schouten
Marion County prosecutors this morning began making their case that Christopher P. White knowingly wrote a bad check for $500,000 last year in a desperate attempt to save his Indianapolis-based development firm, Premier Properties USA Inc.
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Penrod Society sues ex-treasurer for $380,000

August 3, 2009
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Penrod Society has filed a lawsuit against former treasurer Brandon Benker, seeking to recover more than $380,000 it alleges he embezzled last year.
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Penrod Society sues ex-treasurer for $380,000

August 3, 2009
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Penrod Society has filed a lawsuit against former treasurer Brandon Benker, seeking to recover more than $380,000 it alleges he embezzled last year.
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Cemetery owner to plead guilty to theft, fraud

July 30, 2009
Scott Olson
A cemetery owner set to go on trial Monday has agreed to plead guilty to theft and securities fraud.
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Noblesville man sentenced for mortgage fraud

July 9, 2009
 IBJ Staff
A Noblesville man was sentenced to one year of home detention yesterday after pleading guilty to mortgage fraud in federal court. Marvin G. Hampton also was ordered to pay $262,424.76 in restitution to three lending institutions.
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Dan Laikin on sidelines as others admit guilt in stock-manipulation schemeRestricted Content

April 27, 2009
Greg Andrews
Carmel businessman Dan Laikin finds himself in the awkward spot of denying wrongdoing at the same time the three men accused of conspiring with him in a stock-manipulation scheme are admitting guilt.
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Criminal charges possible in Premier blowup

April 28, 2008
Cory Schouten
Authorities are considering pursuing criminal charges against Christopher P. White and other executives at Premier Properties USA Inc. in connection with deepening troubles at the local development firm, sources familiar with the matter told IBJ.
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Memory Gardens lawsuit seeks $20 millionRestricted Content

February 11, 2008
Louis Jones
An Indianapolis law firm has filed a class-action suit seeking more than $20 million from a pair of financial-services firms it says facilitated the transactions that allowed a New Jersey couple to plunder cemetery trust funds. Cohen & Malad LLP filed the lawsuit late last month on behalf of thousands of customers of Indianapolis-based Memory Gardens Management Corp., which owns Memory Gardens in Greenwood, Lincoln Memory Gardens in Boone County and other cemeteries. The defendants are the company, New York-based...
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Funeral operator slapped with criminal charges

January 17, 2008
Scott Olson
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office filed criminal charges today relating to the status of trust funds set aside to pay funeral expenses and cemetery maintenance for a string of Indiana cemeteries.
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Funeral family asks court to intervene in dispute

January 3, 2008
Norm Heikens
A family that once owned Forest Lawn Memory Gardens and Funeral Home in Greenwood has asked a Johnson County court to put the business into receivership amid questions about the status of trust funds set aside to pay funeral expenses and maintenance.
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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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