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The Journal Gazette

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Saturday, November 09, 2019 1:00 am

Investment scam victims get aid

Fund pays $1 million since '10

Journal Gazette

At a glance

A look at how much money has been returned each year after the launch of the Indiana Securities Restitution Fund.

Being proactive

Hoosiers can learn more about savings, investment fraud and common scams at www.indianamoneywise.com.

2012: $15,000

2013: $72,786.66

2014: $10,000

2015: $267,657.19

2016: $132,184.21

2017: $173,232.22

2018: $257,846.05

2019: $83,263.75

Source: Indiana secretary of state

More than $1 million has been returned to victims of securities and investment fraud from the Indiana Securities Restitution Fund, the secretary of state says.

“Hoosiers have lost millions of dollars to scammers and fraudsters. Often, by the time the scammer is caught, they have already spent or lost most of the stolen funds,” a news release said. The fund seeks to “assist Hoosiers as they work to put their financial lives back together.”

Secretary of State Connie Lawson said in a statement this week she is proud of the work the Indiana Securities Division has done “to deliver justice to so many victims of investment fraud. Our savings and investments are dearly won and easily lost, and I encourage all Hoosiers to educate themselves on investment fraud prevention through the Indiana MoneyWise program.”

The fund was established in 2010 and allows a victim of a securities violation to receive an award of up to $15,000. There have been over 100 awards with an average award of $10,000 and average recipient age 64.

The fund is not supplied by taxpayer dollars, but from fines levied against “industry bad actors,” the release said. Indiana was the first state to establish a securities specific restitution fund and is one of only three states with a fund.

“I routinely receive calls from other states who want to replicate Indiana's unique program,” Securities Commissioner Alex Glass said in a statement. “This is another area where Secretary Lawson has led the charge and pushed an initiative to help harmed Hoosiers.”