Former Michiana man convicted in investment scheme

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A former Michiana man was convicted of wire fraud and securities fraud following a five day jury trial, the US Attorney's Office said.

Earl D. Miller, 43, was convicted of 5 counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud.

Miller was using his companies, 5 Star Commercial and 5 Star Capital, to convince people to invest in real estate and green savings projects. He solicited $4.3 million from around 70 people.

Investigators said Miller used that money for his own personal use and to purchase risky investments for his own personal gain.

Miller will be sentenced on August 25.

Related to this case, in 2019, Miller was ordered to pay $5.2 million after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Miller alleging he used $1.1 million of investor money to pay himself and buy out his former business partner.

A judge entered a final judgment preventing Miller from future violations of the antifraud provisions of federal securities law, and ordered Miller to pay $4,141,133 in disgorgement plus $799,597 in prejudgment interest, and imposing a civil penalty of $320,000, in the SEC case.

Any Indiana victims are eligible for payment from the Secretary of State’s restitution fund. The Securities Restitution Fund was established in 2010 to award restitution to victims of securities law violations. Victims are eligible to receive 25% of their unpaid restitution, up to a maximum of $15,000.

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