LEBANON, Ohio (WJW) – A man from Lebanon, Ohio, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after swindling a Warren County woman out of $1.3 million.

According to a press release from the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Securities, Patrick Thayer pleaded guilty to felony charges related to fraud.

In 2013, Thayer, who was acting as an investment advisor, opened a bank account in the victim’s name without her knowledge or consent, reads the release. Thayer then began selling securities from the victim’s brokerage account and transferred the proceeds to the new bank account, where he used the stolen money to fund his personal expenses, from a down payment on his home to car loans and credit card bills.

Thayer was indicted in June after taking more than $1.31 million from the victim.

According to FOX 8′s sister station, WDTN, the victim became aware of the fraud in 2022 when she was contacted by the IRS about the bank account that Thayer had opened in her name.

“Every dollar taken by fraud hurts families and law-abiding businesses in Ohio. Today’s sentence confirms that the Division and its law enforcement partners are committed to making Ohio a safe environment where investors and industry professionals can grow and prosper,” Ohio Securities Commissioner Andrea Seidt said in the release.

Before investing, experts encourage potential investors to call the Division’s Investor Protection Hotline at 877-683-7841 to ask:

•    Is the securities professional, platform, or firm properly licensed in Ohio?
•    Is the security being promoted by the firm, platform, or individual registered for sale in Ohio?
•    Are there any enforcement actions involving the firm, platform, professional, or security being promoted?