DA: Easton man defrauded victims of $10 million
EASTON, Pa. - September 27, 2013 (WPVI) -- Officials say a businessman in Easton, Pa. has been arrested, accused of defrauding dozens of people out of $10 million.
The alleged leader of the Ponzi scheme is 67-year-old Richard Allen Freer. He was arrested at his Palmer Township home on Friday morning.
Authorities say Freer made himself out as an investment counselor.
At least 90 people fell victim after investing their money with Freer. Of the $10 million invested with Freer, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said $5 million to $6 million is still missing.
It is alleged that, in many cases, Freer took in sums of five and six figures. Clients were allegedly told their money was going into legitimate investments. However, Morganelli said, the money went straight into Freer's personal checking account.
He would allegedly pay dividends to his victims but, over time, the scheme faltered.
"He was able to carry this out for a while, a typical Ponzi scheme we are familiar with," said Morganelli. "But, of course, it ultimately collapses."
Samantha Elmer invested her $100,000 inheritence with Freer. She told Action News she had consulted other advisors but Freer, recommended by a family member, stood out.
"To be hones when I went to other people they weren't very friendly and Richard was very friendly. He answered all my questions," Elmer said.
Morganelli says he is hoping for a harsh sentence.
"I don't want to see him out walking around ever again, I don't think he will be. This is a I think this is a despicable act and that he deserves to die in prison, so we will be asking for as much time as we can," said Morganelli.
Freer remains in police custody on $10 million bail.
pennsylvania news, northampton county news, ponzi scheme, local/state
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