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Securities watchdog bans alleged Fishers Ponzi schemer from industry

January 21, 2016

Financial industry regulators have disbarred a Fishers broker alleged to have participated in a Ponzi scheme, prohibiting him from ever working in the securities industry in any capacity.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Jeffery Bruce Risinger has been barred for life from associating with any FINRA member institution, according to its monthly disciplinary report released this week. The sanction follows a Securities and Exchange Commission civil complaint filed last April that claims Risinger and two others operated a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

FINRA said its action resulted from Risinger's refusal to provide on-the-record testimony related to the allegations. The case, which is ongoing, claims the trio raised $15 million from 80 investors in 2013 and 2014 to fund farm operating loans. When loans soured, the perpetrators repaid old investors with new investor money, the SEC said, creating a classic Ponzi scheme.

Carmel-based Veros Partners principal Matthew D. Haab and former stockbroker Tobin J. Senefeld are the other defendants.

Haab is not a registered securities broker and FINRA has not filed any disciplinary actions against Senefeld related to the alleged Ponzi scheme. Senefeld was, however, censured in 2000 for his involvement with a so-called free-riding scheme, which involves buying and selling securities with expected cash instead of actual cash.

As of last spring, the Veros farm-loan operation owed about $8 million to investors, but court-appointed receiver William D. Wendling in November reported he had recovered about 20 percent of that.

Risinger has been running a one-person law practice since 1998, according to FINRA records, and entered the securities industry in late 2013.

His attorney, Ron Elberger of Bose, MicKinney & Evans LLP, did not reply to requests for comment.

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