May 20–ST. LOUIS — An insurance agent from Wildwood hit with a cease-and-desist order in October has been indicted on federal charges.
Joanna L. Rich, 51, was indicted Wednesday in federal court in St. Louis on charges of mail fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.
The indictment says that from November 2011 through at least June of 2015, Rich concocted an investment scheme in which investors in FSG Fundraising LLC were promised risk-free returns of 10 percent in three years.
But the indictment says that Rich used the money for personal expenses, doctored documents to falsely show either a positive balance of growth in the accounts and used small payments to lull investors into believing their money was safe.
She knew the investment was not low risk, that she wasn’t a licensed investment adviser and that neither she or the company were registered to sell securities, the indictment says.
Secretary of State Jason Kander’s office issued a cease-and-desist order last year that also claimed investor money was used for Rich’s personal expenses.
The order says that the company was formed to sell fundraising packages to schools and non-profit groups, but had no clients. Rich told investigators that investors were “contributors” to FSG and that she could repay the money from her personal assets.
She used a total of $173,000 at a nail parlor, dentist, grocery stores, airlines, stores, the Ameristar Casino Resort, the Chicago White Sox and in cash or check withdrawals, officials claimed.
Robert Patrick –314-621-5154
@rxpatrick on Twitter
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