Franklin financial advisor indicated in Securities-Fraud Scam
Jeffrey L. Cassman, 34, of Nashville, Tennessee and former owner of the Cassman Financial Group, Inc., was charged yesterday by a federal grand jury with one count each of mail fraud and securities fraud arising from an investment-fraud scam he perpetrated from January 2003 to November 2005. If convicted, Cassman faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.
“Investment advisors hold a position of trust for their clients, many of whom rely on their advisors’ advice to make important financial decisions,” said U.S. Attorney Edward M. Yarbrough. “Investment advisors who defraud clients and misappropriate client funds not only abuse that trust but also undermine the confidence of the investing public. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and it’s law enforcement partners will continue to investigate and prosecute those who commit these type of crimes.”
According to the indictment, from approximately January 2003 to November 2005, Cassman defrauded a number of investors through a series of misrepresentations. Cassman told investors, among other things, that he would invest their money in tax liens and other types of investments, that such investments were “guaranteed” or “fool proof,” and that investors would receive a high rate of return. Contrary to those representations, however, Cassman did not, and never intended, to invest client funds in tax liens or other investments.
According to the indictment, Cassman used the funds for personal expenses. In addition, in some cases, Cassman used a portion of the funds to repay earlier investors, giving them the false impression that the “returns” were from their investment. In reality, those returns were simply later investors’ money, and Cassman, rather than using the funds as promised, was perpetrating a type of Ponzi scheme.
The case was investigated by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ty Howard.
The public is reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
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