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Carmel man sentenced to seven years in prison for wire fraud



Hammond, Indiana — After being convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, a Carmel man has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

According to U.S. Attorney Clifford Johnson’s office, George McKown and a partner defrauded investors of more than $5 million.

Between 2008 and 2013, McKown and his partner Richard Gearhart operated Asset Preservation Specialists, Court documents showed. The partners recruited more than 40 people to invest their savings, pensions, death benefits, and IRAs and promised a return of 6% to 8% on their investments. Then they took their client’s money to fund their personal business projects, as well as projects of their associates.

Saying they were making a consistent profit on their investments, the partners would provide clients with fraudulent statements.

According to Johnson’s office, many of the victims learned they had lost their savings when Gearhart filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

McKown was ordered to pay more than $5.2 million in restitution to the victims in addition to the prison sentence. In December 2019, Gearhart pled guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He was ordered to pay more than $5 million in restitution and was sentenced to five years in prison.