Local business owner charged in tech startup scam, accused of bilking investors

Indianapolis resident David Betner has been charged by the Marion County prosecutor with multiple felonies related to his business enterprise, Darepoint.

Prosecutors say Betner took approximately $383,970 from would-be investors and used it for personal expenses. They say he misled those investors by telling them that his company was developing a social media website and application that was on the verge of a profit-generating buyout.

A call to a phone number listed for Betner went unanswered Wednesday morning. His attorney, Nathan Vining, declined to comment when contacted by IBJ.

Betner was charged with 19 counts: eight counts of fraudulent or deceitful act in the offer, sale or purchase of a security; six counts of theft; two counts of forgery; and one count each of corrupt business influence, acting as an unregistered broker-dealer and check deception.

Prosecutors said that as investors became wary of Betner, he allegedly claimed that Facebook was on the verge of buying Darepoint for hundreds of millions of dollars. During the investigation, officials with the prosecutor’s office said Facebook confirmed that no business records were found between Betner and Facebook. Several victims told investigators that no record demonstrating any legitimate business activity was provided to investors.
 
“As alleged, Mr. Betner took personal profit from misleading victims who were deprived of significant amounts of money, as much as $188,000 from a single would-be investor, through what they believed were loans or investments in a legitimate business,” Prosecutor Terry Curry said in a prepared statement. “As we will continue to warn the public, if an opportunity sounds too good to be true, then it is undoubtedly too good to be true.”
 
“This is not the first time an individual has earned the trust of Hoosiers and defrauded them instead. Technology changes but fraudsters keep using the same playbook. We urge investors to do their homework before investing and to contact the Secretary of State’s office if anything seems suspicious,” said Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson. 

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.