Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
INDIANAPOLIS - Today, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita praised the teamwork that led to the arrest and the filing of criminal charges against Robert Horner, a St. Joseph County resident, for securities violations. Acting upon an Indiana warrant made possible by an investigation by Rokita's Prosecution Assistance Unit (PAU), Horner was picked up in West Chester, Pennsylvania by that state's Fugitive Apprehension Unit.
Released on $10,000 bond, Horner currently awaits possible extradition to Indiana where he is accused of selling $32,500 in securities backed by the assets of an unregistered corporation he created from his home, and a $35,000 investment contract to a Hamilton County resident. Horner is also currently awaiting trial in St. Joseph County for an August arrest concerning 12 securities violations involving four St. Joseph County residents.
The investigation initiated by Rokita's office has resulted in three counts of offering or selling unregistered securities, three counts of offering or selling securities as an unregistered agent; and three counts of fraudulent or deceitful acts in connection with the offer or sale of a security. All nine counts are violations of the Indiana Securities Act and are Class C felonies; each of which is punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and up to eight years in prison.
"The cooperation between my office's Prosecution Assistance Unit, the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, and Pennsylvania authorities has helped protect Hoosiers' hard-earned money," Rokita said. "This arrest shows that we are willing to work with other states in our ongoing pursuit to protect the integrity of commerce in Indiana. By prosecuting white collar criminals, we are helping those here at home avoid bogus financial schemes."
A resident of Hamilton County alerted Rokita's office after she had invested $100,000 from her retirement savings in Horner's company. She was promised a one million dollar return on her investment by Horner - money she hoped could be used to replace the significant amount she had already withdrawn from her 401k account. Horner allegedly promised to pay the tax incurred from withdrawing the funds; however, when she contacted Horner and asked about the money due for the taxes, he informed her that he did not have it.
Horner offered and sold investments through his company, Learning with Ease, and solicited funds through the Internet, newspaper, and face-to-face meetings with other Indiana residents from 2002 through 2004.
The Prosecution Assistance Unit (PAU) was created by Rokita and his Securities division in 2004 to further existing investigations and facilitate local law enforcement's prosecution of alleged Securities Act violations. The focus of the office is to assist state prosecutors in an effort to work together at the courthouse and statehouse to root out the worst of the worst of white-collar crime. By working with law enforcement throughout the state, the office has already helped to file charges in 22 high-profile investment fraud cases in Indiana, and has a 15 to 1 conviction-to-dismissal record, with over 150 years of jail time sentenced to-date.