A former Carmel financial adviser was sentenced to nearly five years in prison on Thursday following his January conviction on 15 counts of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
Jaime C. Lopez, who ran a financial advisory firm out of his home, was found guilty of swindling hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors. He told clients he was investing the money but instead used it for his own purposesincluding buying automobiles, making mortgage payments and paying for home landscaping.
Judge Tonya Walton Pratt sentenced Lopez, 41, who now lives in Wabash, to 57 months in prison.
“Stealing from retirement accounts to fund a lavish lifestyle is immoral as well as illegal,” U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said after the sentencing. “Mr. Lopez betrayed the trust of family and close friends by his deceitful actions. He will have nearly five years to think about his crimes in federal prison.”
Investigators said Lopez created various business names, JCL Interest Plus, JCL Capital Inc. and JCL Directs to direct retirement funds from the unsuspecting investors. Clients would transfer their Individual Retirement Accounts to self-directed accounts and then Lopez would transfer the money into JCL entities under his control.
The Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit and the Indiana Secretary of State’s securities division investigated the case.