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Johnson County man sentenced to 18 years for running Ponzi scheme

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INDIANAPOLIS (June 9, 2014) – A Johnson County man is facing jail time for running a Ponzi scheme.

Rudolf “Rudi” Pameijer of Trafalgar has been sentenced to 18 years and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution for his role in a Ponzi scheme that bilked 24 investors from Johnson and Hendricks counties as well as the State of Colorado out of over $1.5 million.

Pameijer, who was a long-time insurance salesman, would portray himself as an expert financial advisor and then use his sham company, Plan America, LLC, to sell fraudulent investment contracts and securities in the form of promissory notes to the unsuspecting victims.

Neither Pameijer nor Plan America were registered to sell securities in the State of Indiana. He scammed his clients by guaranteeing their initial investment and promised high rates of return. In some instances, Pameijer exploited family and friends. He would even persuade some of his clients to terminate existing annuities & liquidate retirement accounts to fund the investment, despite the substantial penalties.

“This case is a classic example of a Ponzi scheme,” said Secretary Lawson. “Pameijer would prey on the personal relationship and trust that he had established with his victims. He would manipulate the facts about the investment and his credentials.

“Unfortunately, Pameijer could have been stopped in his tracks.  Neither his company nor his products were ever registered with our office.  If only one investor would have called my office or checked our online database, his scheme would have crumbled.  I hope this serves as a reminder to always make sure the investment product and the provider are properly registered with my office.

The investigation of Rudi Pameijer began when one of his investors filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office. Johnson County Judge Loyd sentenced Pameijer to a total of 18 years. Eight of the years were suspended with the remaining 10 years to be served in prison.  Pameijer was also ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution.

For information on how to avoid becoming a victim of investment fraud, click here.