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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

Friday, December 23, 2016

Two Individuals Indicted on Securities and Wire Fraud

HAMMOND- United States Attorney David A. Capp announced today Richard E. Gearhart, 66, of Lowell, Indiana and George R. McKown, 65, of Indianapolis, Indiana, were recently charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, and wire fraud

According to documents filed in this case, it is alleged that the defendants sold securities to individuals who transferred their traditional IRSs, pensions, annuities, 401ks, and cash to invest with Gearhart and McKown, through Asset Preservation Specialists, Inc., after being guaranteed that their original investment was safe and sound and promising a guaranteed rate of return.  Gearhart and McKown were not registered with the SEC or the State of Indiana to sell securities.

“Gearhart had all the warning signs of a typical Ponzi scheme; he took advantage of people he knew and wasn’t registered with my office to sell securities,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson.  Secretary Lawson also reminded all potential investors that no matter how well you think you know someone or how successful they look, always check with the Secretary of State to make sure the professional and the product are registered.

The United States Attorney's Office emphasized that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty in court.

If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

This case was the result of a joint investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indiana Secretary of State Securities Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Toi Denise Houston.

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Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Updated December 29, 2016