SEC Says Amish Investors Were Bilked in $3.9M Securities Fraud

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Earl D. Miller for securities fraud. According to the regulator, the Indiana man bilked investors, many of whom were Amish and new to investing, through private investment vehicles 5 Star Capital LLC and 5 Star Commercial LLC.

The SEC says Miller began recruiting investors last year. The private investment entities he created were supposed to invest in real estate property and green products with patents that one of the companies owned. However, claims the regulator, no patents were actually owned. Instead, contends the agency, the money went to companies that were supposedly developing other products, including energy-efficient washing machines and a pedal-run wheelchair. The bulk of these investments quickly failed. Most of the funds were invested in loans and were supposed to result in interest payments every month. However, such payments only were issued for five months and then they stopped completely.

Miller marketed his investment services in Amish newspapers and in Amish community meetings. He gave investors promissory notes for their money. The notes came with a fixed 8-12%/year return rate, which is a lot higher than the rates for other fixed-return investments, including bank deposits. He also purportedly said he was not paid any money for managing the fund even though he allegedly took $1M for his own spending. At least 70 investors were bilked.

The Indiana Securities Division is accusing Miller of selling promissory notes in the aggregate amount of over $41M to at least 37 investors. He settled with the state earlier this year and will pay a $5,000 penalty.

Our securities law firm is here to help investors recoup their fraud losses. Working with a stockbroker fraud law firm can increase your chances of maximum recovery. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP today.

LAWSUIT: U.S. SEC says Goshen’s Earl Miller defrauded ‘novice investors’ of $3.9 million, Goshen News, November 10, 2015

Indiana Investment Manager Cheated Amish Clients, SEC Says, Financial Adviser, November 12, 2015