Supreme Court Rules Against Hearing Ponzi Case

May 15, 2014

The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that it will not hear the appeal of a Franklin County man for his role in an alleged $8.9 million dollar Ponzi scheme.

Jerry Smith, of Brookville, is serving a 5 ½ year prison sentence after pleading guilty in federal court to income tax evasion, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Smith is currently facing charges at the local level in relation to the Ponzi scheme. He is accused of five counts of not registering as a broker when selling securities.

He was originally charged with 25 felonies but twenty were dismissed. Smith’s case was presented to the Indiana Supreme Court in order to have the remaining five charges dismissed.

After he pleaded guilty in federal court, the defense team claimed the state charges were double jeopardy-meaning he could not be tried for an offense he was already convicted or acquitted of.

On Friday, May 9, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled against hearing the case. Smith will now face the remaining five charges in Franklin County with the trial expected to begin in August.

Smith was convicted in federal court for his role in the $8.9 Ponzi scheme where 72 investors in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky were allegedly cheated out of money. In addition to the 5 ½ year prison sentence, he was ordered to pay more than $5 million in restitution to victims and over $72,000 to the IRS.

His business partner, Jason Snelling, was also convicted in federal court and sentenced to 11 years in prison and fines exceeding $5 million to the victims and nearly $597,000 to the IRS.

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