Investment Broker Charged with Defrauding Investors of Their Retirement Savings
INDIANAPOLIS—Josh J. Minkler, Acting United States Attorney announced today a Fishers man was charged by the grand jury with wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. John K. Marcum, 50, was arrested at his home and had his initial appearance yesterday.
“Defrauding people of their hard-earned retirement savings is criminal behavior,” said Minkler. “The indictment demonstrates that Marcum used investor’s retirement accounts as his own personal piggy bank to fund his lavish lifestyle. Anyone who does that will face the full force of federal criminal prosecution.”
In 2010, Marcum founded the investment firm Guaranty Reserves Trust, LLC (GRT) operating in the Indianapolis area. He allegedly promised investors that he would use their money to achieve significant returns by trading securities, stocks and bonds with no fees being charged. Marcum arranged for investors to deposit money into various accounts and self-directed IRA’s which allowed him to control the investors’ money.
From 2010 through 2013 Marcum solicited millions of dollars from 16 investors. Marcum represented himself and GRT to be worth millions of dollars with celebrity clients and traded very conservatively. He allegedly promised to earn high rates of return with no risk to the investors’ principle. In reality he failed to invest the money as promised and converted it for personal gain. Marcum commingled the funds to finance a personal line of credit, highly speculative start-up ventures, cars, vacations and other gifts.
This was a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. W. Jay Abbott, Special Agent in Charge, stated, “The FBI will aggressively pursue those who commit financial fraud. It is a priority to the Bureau to protect the American public from these types of crimes.”
IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James C. Lee stated, “IRS Criminal Investigation stands united with the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office to bring justice to those who commit crimes against our society. We are committed to protecting the American taxpayers by following the money and holding individuals who violate the public’s trust accountable for their actions.”
According to Winfield D. Ong, Criminal Chief for the United States Attorney’s Office, who is prosecuting the case, Marcum faces up to 50 years in prison and fines of over $5 million if convicted.
An indictment is merely a charge and not proof of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which time the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.