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[SOS] Secretary of State Connie Lawson files lawsuit to freeze estate of alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Richard Schwartz
Start Date: 10/3/2013 All Day
End Date: 10/3/2013
Entry Description

Investigators allege Schwartz ran a $5 to $10 million Ponzi scheme

 

INDIANAPOLIS (October 3, 2013) — Secretary of State Connie Lawson has filed a lawsuit against Richard Schwartz’s estate to freeze his assets. The lawsuit, filed in Howard County Superior Court, seeks to protect the assets for possible restitution to investors victimized by his alleged Ponzi scheme. Schwartz’s victims were spread throughout the country and may include former National Football League athletes. Secretary Lawson requested the court freeze assets and all financial accounts including his life insurance proceeds.

 

“My team is working to seize Schwartz’s $13 million life insurance policy and other assets in an effort to return his ill-gotten gains to investors,” said Secretary Lawson. “Thanks to the quick action of my Securities Division, there is still an opportunity to recover some of the victims’ money. I believe any money left in his estate should go to his victims first.”

 

Schwartz operated RAS & Associates, a Kokomo company offering insurance products, annuities and general wealth management advice. Schwartz convinced his clients to liquidate their insurance holdings to invest in securities expected to receive higher interest rates than their previous investments. The securities Schwartz offered his clients were fictional. Instead of investing his clients’ money as promised, Schwartz used the money to sustain his own lavish lifestyle and business expenses. As Schwartz acquired new investors, he used some of their money to pay interest payments to existing clients, which is typical in a Ponzi scheme.

 

As lawyer for the Secretary of State and Securities Commissioner, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s Office filed the legal actions necessary for the officials first to intervene in a private lawsuit brought by private investors and second to request the court freeze Schwartz’s assets.

 

“Intervening in an investor lawsuit and triggering the process to freeze assets is an important legal tool that the State can use to protect fraud victims against further harm; and the Attorney General’s Office will do our utmost to assist Secretary of State Lawson in recovering funds for victims in this ongoing case,” Zoeller said.

 

The Secretary of State’s office began investigating Schwartz in July of this year after receiving numerous investor complaints regarding failure to pay. In August, Schwartz ended his life. Although Schwartz is deceased, the cleanup will continue to try to find the approximately $5 to $10 million in investor losses which disappeared as a result of his Ponzi scheme.

 

Contact Information:
Name: Valerie Kroeger
Phone: 317-233-8655
Email: vkroeger@sos.IN.gov
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