A former financial advisor in Ohio was sentenced to more than two decades in prison for his role in fleecing dozens of investors of out close to $10 million.
In March, Raymond Erker, of Avon Lake, Ohio, was found guilty of 12 counts, including conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements while under oath.
Erker invested some of the investors’ money in startups and other high-risk investments, without the investors’ knowledge, luring victims with fictitious websites and call centers from office fronts in Delaware and Nevada, and spent the rest of the money on himself.
Erker’s scheme cost 54 investors $9.3 million, and he was facing more than 20 years in prison, with the sentencing originally scheduled for July 7.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster sentenced Erker to 262 months, or 21 years and 10 months, in prison, according to Clevaland.com.
Around 50 people were in the court room and at least a dozen joined the sentencing by video, the web publication writes.
“I hate you,” said 77-year-old victim Robert Krajeski, according to Cleveland.com. “I hope you rot in prison. And I hope you rot in hell.”
Erker claimed on Monday that he had paid back $3 million to the victims, while prosecutors have said it was only $400,000, the publication writes. Polster scheduled a hearing for December 9 and warned Erker that while he could pursue the clam of what he had already paid, he would face more charges if it turns out that he’s lying, according to Cleveland.com.
Erker joined the financial services industry in 1999 and was registered with nine different firms, including Merrill Lynch and LPL Financial, before joining Allstate Financial as a broker in Avon, Ohio, and Sageguard Wealth Management as an investment advisor in Westlake, Ohio, both in 2012, according to BrokerCheck and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure database.
Erker’s registration with Allstate ended the same year and with Sageguard in 2019, according to his record.
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