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Indiana Police Arrest Two in $4.5 Million Ponzi Scheme

Two men were arrested on charges that their investment company was in reality a Ponzi scheme that cost investors $4.5 million.  Jerry Smith, 49, of Brookville, Indiana, and Jasen Snelling, 47, of Anderson Township, were charged with 18 felonies by Indiana prosecutors, including securities fraud and theft. While authorities have arrested Smith, Snelling's whereabouts remain unknown.

Snelling and Smith operated Dunhill Investment Advisers and CityFund Advisory in downtown Cincinnati, where they guaranteed high rates of returns to clients under the guise that the firms were successfully day-trading.  More than thirty people invested $4.5 million with the operation, which, instead of being invested, was used to pay owner salaries and purchase a boat, furniture, and plastic surgery.  Following his arrest, Smith, through his attorney, claimed he and his family had also lost a great deal of money and was a victim of Snelling.

Following a tip by an investor whose accountant questioned the legality of the operation, the Indiana Securities Division filed a civil complaint in June 2010 freezing Smith and Snelling's assets.  Smith and Snelling have also been charged in two other Indiana counties.  The filing of federal charges is also a possibility.