Former Westlake Investment Advisor Sentenced to Nearly 22 Years in Prison for Operating Ponzi Scheme | USAO-NDOH

Former Westlake Investment Advisor Raymond A. Erker, 52, of Avon, Ohio, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster to nearly 22 years in prison, or 262 months, following his conviction at trial of stealing more than $9.3 million from clients in a Ponzi scheme.  A restitution hearing concerning this matter was scheduled for December 9, 2022.

“Mr. Erker misled, cheated and conned over fifty victims, many of them elderly, into trusting him with their life savings and hard-earned retirement funds, all for guaranteed rates of return and low-risk investments that were fabricated,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler. “Instead, Erker squandered the money he was entrusted with and caused financial ruin and pain for many.  Now, thanks to the work of law enforcement, Mr. Erker must repay his debt to these victims and our community.” 

“Be suspect of anyone who guarantees that an investment will perform a certain way, because all investments carry some degree of risk,” said Ohio Securities Commissioner Andrea Seidt. “Investors need to ask lots of questions and do extra research. Investors can call our Investor Protection Hotline at 877-683-7841 to find out if the person is licensed to sell securities and if the product is properly registered.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from January 2013 through July 2018, Erker devised a scheme that stole $9,366,976.37 from at least fifty-four investors. 

As part of the scheme, Erker sold investments to clients that he misrepresented as annuities and senior secured notes with no risk of loss and with a guaranteed rate of return.  Court documents state that Erker, without the approval or consent of investors, diverted funds to other entities that they controlled and their personal bank accounts. 

Additionally, Erker failed to disclose to clients that he maintained ownership interests in companies receiving investments from the scheme.  

To keep up with promised rates of return,…

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