WESTLAKE, Ohio (WJW)– A retired Cleveland police officer and his wife said they are relieved that a Westlake financial adviser and two associates were indicted for stealing millions from clients.
Rosemary and Robert Edmonds are two of 54 people that federal officials said had their money stolen in a Ponzi-type scheme.
Raymond Erker, as well as Kevin Krantz and Tara Brunst, were indicted Friday. They are facing several federal charges including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The charges are pending in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
“I have many mixed emotions right now. One of definite relief that Erker has been indicted after a two year investigation, but also, a feeling of anger that he has been living life free of consequence for years including these last two,” said Vivian McLaughlin, the Edmonds’ daughter.
“It’s time for him to be held accountable. With regards to Krantz and Brunst, it makes me sick to my stomach that neither had felt the need to do the legal and right thing. They, like Erker, have benefited from their evil acts without batting an eye. The fact that the victims are all elderly makes it that much worse. We should care for the elderly not steal, lie, and humiliate them.”
The indictment alleges the three obtained more than $9.3 million in the scheme, which began in about 2013 and lasted for five years.
The three told investors they were buying annuities and secured notes, when the investor money was either misappropriated or placed in high-risk start-up companies, according to the indictment.
The indictment further states the three operated the investment program as a “Ponzi scheme.”
“I am heartbroken for all 54 elderly victims. Life happens to all of us. The sustainability of knowing that they finally reached a point in their lives where there is no perceived financial burden was torn away from them overnight,” McLaughlin said. “It is somewhat ironic that these federal charges were filed near Labor Day, as these 54 individuals labored their entire lives only to fall victim to this heinous financial crime.”
The three are expected in federal court soon to face the charges.
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