Many alleged victims are from
According to the news release, in April, a local victim reported her concerns about bonds she bought from Thomas. A detective worked with the Securities Division of the
"During the course of this investigation, 16 additional victims were contacted, which show a consistent plan and scheme by Thomas to defraud victims of their personal funds,"
The investigation revealed Thomas presented himself to investors as an adviser for Thomas & Company Wealth Management as recently as
Neither company appears to have significant assets, or a source of income for repaying investors, Vander Yacht said. According to its website, Insured Income Solutions is designed for "retirees and those within five years of retirement."
Thomas brought in at least
Several investors had debenture certificates marked as Certificate No. 509, 519, and 521, when they were supposed to be unique, McEachran said. At a hearing before the Securities Division, he testified he created debentures form himself.
He then used the clients' money to pay for gambling, hotels, and the scheme itself, according to police.
"Thomas was operating a Ponzi scheme, using funds from new investors to repay prior investors," Vander Yacht said.
Often he would withdraw the money for himself as cash, police said. Bank records showed one client gave him
Months later the same client gave him
"Not one victim had any indication of the actual use of the funds. Each have expressed devastation that their monies are not in bonds as told and promised by Thomas," Vander Yacht said. "For many of the victims in this case, the monies given to Thomas consisted of their life savings, their retirement funds, all of the money they had."
"After accepting the
Thomas did not disclose to clients that he filed for personal bankruptcy twice, and had four
The prosecutor asked for bail set at
"He is presumed innocent as he stands here," Butler said. "We have just heard an impressive litany of unproven statements by the state."
Tips about other possible victims can be directed to Detective
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