|By Mark Wilson, Evansville Courier & Press, Ind.|
The 63-year-old Simon also was ordered to repay more than
His sentence was part of a plea agreement that prosecuting attorney
In August, Simon pleaded guilty to three counts of securities fraud, class B felonies, and a charge of unlawful sale of a security, a class C felony, in a deal worked out with the
The charges stemmed from allegations last year that he swindled area residents, many of whom were elderly, in a Ponzi scheme from 2006 to 2013, according to investigators.
The plea agreement called for Simon to repay a minimum of
One victim estimated that at that rate it would take 25 years just to recover her money. Several of the victims said during the hour-long hearing that they thought the sentence was too light. Other victims berated Simon, over defense attorney
"Now I will have to work for the rest of my life," she said.
Simon did not speak during the hearing.
Kiely explained that the law allowed him only to accept or reject the plea agreement, which he said he had to assume attorneys for both sides had negotiated in good faith.
However, Kiely did not give Simon credit against his sentence for his time on electronic home detention.
Combined with state credit, that would have essentially erased any time served for Simon.
"I don't think it is right that he doesn't go to prison," Kiely said.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agents began investigating Simon in
A registered investment adviser with the
Investigators reported Simon issued promissory notes that showed a rate of return at a specified maturity date, but that Simon also would tell investors that if they requested money it would be given in the order received and only if there was enough money coming into the fund, according to court records.
None of the investments discovered in the investigation was registered with the state, as required by state law, according to his arrest affidavit, and bank records did not show money going to investments or insurance companies as Simon said they were.
Instead, according to the affidavit, the records showed the money was going into the account and then either going to other investors or being withdrawn by Simon, who investigators said was the only person authorized to use the account.
On Thursday, Keating said his examination of the bank records indicated that he only pocketed about
Simon was accused of fleeing with more than
On Thursday, prosecutors revealed that Simon used
Kiely ordered that the coins go toward restitution if they are ever found.
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|