The state case was brought after an investigation by the office of Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson. Snelling was accused of selling unregistered securities, theft and using victims’ money as his own. The scam involved entities known as CityFund Advisory and Dunhill Investment.
“While we are pleased with today’s sentencing, we will continue to aggressively pursue this case in criminal courts, civil courts or administrative proceedings, if necessary, in order to hold all those accountable who contributed to the financial losses and deep sorrow of these victims,” Lawson said in a statement today.
Snelling, a resident of Cincinnati, was prosecuted in Indiana by Franklin County Prosecutor Mel Wilhelm, Lawson said, adding that Indiana investors lost more than $3 million.
“This sentencing showcases cooperation between state and local officials,” Lawson said. “Securities fraud is a serious crime and by working together we can root out more fraud and abuse and stop these schemes before investors lose millions.”
After pleading guilty in June to federal charges, Snelling, 48, was sentenced in October to 131 months and ordered to pay $5.3 million in restitution. The scam created about 72 victims, federal prosecutors said.
“Consistent with a classic Ponzi scheme, early investors were paid interest or return of capital payments, which were not generated by investment earnings, but rather by monies solicited from later investors,” U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart of the Southern District of Ohio said at the time. “These payments served to lull the victims into a false sense of security and to prevent or delay the discovery of the fraudulent investment scheme.”
Snelling compounded matters by engaging in “obstruction” and tax crimes, federal prosecutors said.
And, they noted, “Snelling was ordered to forfeit a boat, trailer and real estate he owned in Michigan.”
The IRS and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service handled the federal probe.