Indiana sues estate of alleged Ponzi schemer

Ind. sues estate of alleged Ponzi schemer for payment to victims who may include NFL players

Associated Press

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) -- Indiana has gone to court to freeze the assets of the estate of a Kokomo investment adviser so the money can provide possible restitution to victims of a Ponzi scheme who might include former National Football League players, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Thursday.

The Indiana attorney general's office filed the lawsuit in Howard Superior Court in Kokomo against the estate of Richard Schwartz, whom Lawson alleges bilked clients across the country out of $5 million to $10 million.

"My team is working to seize Schwartz's $13 million life insurance policy and other assets in an effort to return his ill-gotten gains to investors," Lawson said in a news release.

While Lawson said the scheme's victims possibly include former NFL players, none are named in the state's complaint.

Lawson says Schwartz ended his life in August, one month after her office began investigating numerous investor complaints against him.

Schwartz operated RAS & Associates, a Kokomo company offering insurance products, annuities and general wealth management advice. Lawson said he persuaded his clients to liquidate their insurance holdings to invest in fictional securities that he said would receive higher interest rates than their previous investments.

Instead of investing his clients' money, Schwartz used the funds to sustain his lifestyle and pay for business expenses. As Schwartz acquired new investors, he used some of their money to pay interest payments to existing clients, which is typical in a Ponzi scheme.

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