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Starr Austen & Miller appointed in Keenan Hauke Ponzi Scheme

Starr Austen & Miller appointed in Keenan Hauke Ponzi Scheme

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LOGANSPORT, Ind. —Mario Massillamany of the Indiana law firm of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP, has announced the firm’s selection as attorneys for the Receiver in the case of a prominent Indiana money manager, Keenan R. Hauke, who late last year plead guilty to a large Ponzi scheme.

The court in Hamilton County Superior Court 4 in Indiana has approved Starr Austen & Miller’s to initiate litigation to “recover additional funds for the Receivership estate” in the case “State of Indiana et al., v. Keenan R. Hauke, et al.,” under cause number 29D04-1104-PL-003478. The court-appointed Receiver the firm will work for, William E. Wendling, Jr., has been tasked with marshaling assets to reduce investor losses.

Hauke’s Ponzi scheme was uncovered in April 2011, when a former employee of Hauke reported concerns to the Indiana Securities Commission. The Commission quickly investigated and brought a complaint against Hauke, getting the court to freeze the assets of the former Fishers money manager and hedge fund operator. Hauke was the CEO of Samex Capital Advisors, LLC, and wrote a regular column in the Indianapolis Business Journal. His high profile included being a frequent guest on cable networks and local TV shows, such as CNBC and Fox Business News.

However, while vocalizing his financial concerns in high-profile venues, Hauke was also running an elaborate Ponzi scheme operation, in which Hauke began by soliciting money from new clients to pay off his investors who had great losses in a large Michigan real estate deal. In addition, he converted some funds for his own uses, including paying off his mortgage, paying taxes and purchasing property. He also created a false trail of documents to deceive his investors.

Hauke pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of securities fraud, in December 2011, in which he admitted to defrauding 67 investors of more than $7 million from 2004-2011. After a sentencing hearing on March 23, 2012, in federal court, Hauke received ten years and one month in jail.

As part of the federal criminal case, litigation continues in an effort to recover as much of the victims’ money as possible, since on average each investor affected lost more than $100,000, including life savings and retirement funds. Accordingly, in June 2011 the Court appointed William E. Wendling, Jr. as a Receiver, authorized to take control of Hauke’s assets. Wendling was tasked with establishing a claims process to distribute funds to shareholders and partners, and to develop a restitution fund for investors.

Part of this task includes reclaiming funds from those who received them with knowledge of the Ponzi scheme. This can involve initiating litigation.

Starr Austen’s securities arbitration attorney, Scott Starr, said, “Now that we’ve been appointed as counsel for the Receiver we’ll begin the task of investigation and initiation of litigation. We’ll do our best to discover and recover as much money as possible for the Receivership estate, which will, in turn, help reduce investor losses from this Ponzi scheme which has harmed so many innocent victims.”

Starr, Austen & Miller LLP handles stockbroker fraud cases, truck accident cases, and multimillion dollar, nationwide class actions. Mario Massillamany hosts a live chat session every Wednesday at 5pm to help people understand their rights.