New fund helps get some cash back for fraud victims
Victims of investment fraud in
"They term it 'White collar crime,' which is a term I detest, because it dresses it up. It is no doubt crime, and people are badly hurt," Assistant Stark County Prosecutor
Securities fraud victims who are eligible for assistance through the fund can get back 25% of the money they lost, capped at
To be eligible for financial assistance from the fund, a victim must be an
"We know that courthouse justice — while it feels good — doesn't always provide the monetary relief that these families need," Commissioner of the Division
Only victims identified in final orders issued after
Victims must not have already received the full amount of their monetary loss via a restitution order. Victims must also not have taken part in, or profited from, the violations of securities laws addressed in the order.
If the division has already awarded a victim restitution assistance but the restitution order has been overturned in a court of appeals, then the victim must forfeit the financial assistance they were awarded.
Victims of securities fraud can apply for financial assistance from the fund online at the
Where does the fund
money come from?
The recovery fund was established as a part of the state's 2022-2023 budget bill Gov.
If the fund falls to near or below
To receive financial aid from the fund, eligible victims must file a completed application with the division within 180 days of the final order for restitution, unless the division has granted an extension. Eligible victims must also respond within 60 days to requests from the division to provide additional documentation or information to process claims.
What does investment
fraud look like?
Securities fraud schemes take many forms, Seidt said.
The most common form of fraud her office encounters are private placement and promissory note scams, in which fraud perpetrators take investments for often-fake companies that aren't registered with the
Seidt said potential investors should call and check investment offerings with the
The division also fielded a significant number of fraud cases involving cryptocurrency last year, thanks to the unprecedented wave of new, mostly young people investing. Oftentimes crypto fraud occurs overseas and there's no possibility of recovery, so the
Investment fraud schemes committed by professional financial advisors and firms are particularly insidious, Seidt said, because there's often a relationship built on trust that perpetrators take advantage of.
"That's probably one of the more rare forms, but obviously very devastating when it happens because it's a crime of trust," Seidt said. "It's people dealing with somebody who's licensed, competent, and someone you think that you can hand your money over to."
Such is the case with
"50,000 was every dime I had in savings," Parsons said. "I trusted him so much I offered him the other
Parsons has been unable to recover all of her money because several of the perpetrators who defrauded her live outside of the state, making it more difficult to hold them legally accountable.
Through the recovery fund she was awarded 25% of her monetary loss, which amounts to
"I was told today that I only get
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