Illinois Man Indicted for Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Allegedly Stole Millions of Dollars from Investors Which He Used for Personal Expenses and Then Falsely Declared Bankruptcy
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Alan John Hanke, the sole member of IOLO Capital (IOLO), was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Marutollo on a nine-count indictment charging him with securities fraud conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and filing a false bankruptcy declaration, in connection with schemes to induce investors to purchase speculative investments, to misappropriate the funds, and then to use the bankruptcy system to discharge his debts to his victims. Hanke was arrested on January 25, 2024, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as he was boarding an international cruise. The defendant made his initial appearance on January 26, 2024 in United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and was released on a $250,000 bond.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office, and David Walker, Special Agent-in-Charge, FBI, Tampa Field Office, announced the arrest and charges.
“As alleged, the victims trusted Hanke with millions of dollars for what they were assured would be safe investments,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “In reality, the defendant deceived the victims and used their money to enrich himself with vacations and a luxury car, and then sought to abuse bankruptcy proceedings to shield his ill-gotten gains. This Office will hold the defendant accountable for his criminal acts of greed and dishonesty and seek justice for his victims.”
Mr. Peace thanked the Office of the United States Trustee for the Northern District of Illinois and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida for their assistance in the matter.
"Alan Hanke took a gamble by allegedly defrauding investors out of millions of dollars, which he ultimately used to fund his own personal expenses while also lying to bankruptcy court. Hanke’s luck eventually ran out. He will now be forced to answer for his alleged false promises, lies, and misrepresentations. You can bet the FBI will continue to make sure swindlers face just punishment for their attempted frauds," stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith.
As alleged in the indictment, between November 2018 and August 2021, Hanke persuaded numerous investors, often in meetings in New York City, to invest in IOLO or related Hanke-run companies. Hanke promised investors high returns within short periods of time by investing in, among other things, “standby letters of credit,” “medium term notes,” and “high yield bonds.” Hanke also assured investors that their investments would be insured against losses. However, nearly all of the money that the victims invested with Hanke went to the defendant’s personal expenses, including cruises, airfare, hotels, gambling expenses, and a luxury car. Hanke also paid co-conspirators and other investors with money that he wrongfully obtained during the scheme. The indictment further alleges that Hanke filed a bankruptcy petition in June 2021 in Illinois, in which he sought to discharge the debts that he owed to his victims. In the bankruptcy petition, Hanke disclosed that he was paid monthly Social Security and Disability checks, but did not disclose the millions of dollars of income he received from his victims. Hanke also did not disclose the proceeds from the sale of an airplane, or that he used the proceeds for personal expenses, including gambling and repairs to a close relative’s home, as well as $180,000 that was withdrawn in cash.
If convicted, Hanke faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ incarceration on the wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy counts and five years’ imprisonment on the securities fraud conspiracy, bankruptcy fraud, and false bankruptcy declaration charges.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and Hanke is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicholas J. Moscow and Matthew Skurnik are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Madison Bates.
ALAN JOHN HANKE
Crystal Lake, Illinois
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 24-CR-27 (RER)
Danielle Blustein Hass
U.S. Attorney's Office
Updated February 8, 2024