A Warren County’s grand jury has indicted two men on multiple counts of securities fraud, Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell announced.
Aaron Pitman, 34, and Ryan R. Goldschmidt, 39, have been indicted with the following:
Four counts of aggravated theft
Three counts of unauthorized use of property
Three counts of telecommunications fraud
Two counts of grand theft
Three counts of unlawful securities practices
One count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity
A lengthy investigation by the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Securities and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Forensic Accounting Division led to the indictment, the spokesperson said.
“Pitman and Goldschmidt are alleged to have defrauded investors through multiple business entities including Oak Street Group, GGB Assets, and Excelsior Leasing,” the spokesperson said. “The men are accused of making misrepresentations to multiple victims to induce them to invest in a medical marijuana grow operation... as well as a CBD oil cartridge manufacturing business”
“Neither Pitman nor Goldschmidt are licensed to sell securities to investors in the state of Ohio... [and] neither has prior experience in the business of licensing, cultivating, or selling medical marijuana or CBD oil cartridges,” Fornshell confirmed to News Center 7.
Pitman and Goldschmidt are alleged to also have “misrepresented to investors that Goldschmidt was an attorney, and that they would get 100% of their money back, plus additional distributions of profit. Ultimately, the victims were left with no returns on their investments,” the official stated.
“Approximately $796,714 in investor funds were deposited into Warren County bank accounts controlled by Pitman and Goldschmidt. The money was used for personal expenses,” including paying off “prior lawsuits or mak[ing] payments to their friends,” Fornshell announced.
“The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office was investigating Pitman relating to a different scheme,” and after investors raised concerns about allegedly being defrauded by Pitman and Goldschmidt, the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office “referred the matter to the Ohio Bureau of Investigation for further investigation,” Fornshell stated.
Ohio Securities Commissioner Andrea Seidt recommends that investors “ask lots of questions and do extra research before investing any money.”
You can call the Investor Protection Hotline at (877) 683-7841 to find out if a person is licensed to sell securities for a properly registered product.