OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) – A prominent member of the Oconomowoc community was sentenced for carrying out a $2.6 million investment scheme, whose victims included his own parents.
According to authorities, 51-year-old Edward Matthes was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for running the fraudulent investment scheme. Matthes would reportedly persuade clients to invest in fake Mutual of Omaha accounts which he would then claim they would perform.
Matthes would actually deposit the money into his personal accounts. Matthes would lie to his clients by creating fake quarterly earnings statements for the non-existent accounts.
Some of the clients Matthes had included:
- His own parents
- A cognitively disabled individual
- Elderly people
Over six years, Matthes’ scheme defrauded 27 victims in total and he earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud. Matthes was an independent broker-dealer for Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc., and previously worked in the same capacity for Thrivent in St. Louis and Pewaukee.
Several victims filed impact statements with the court prior to the sentencing. Two of the victims made in-person statements explaining how Matthes betrayed their trust and caused them financial and emotional harm. A representative of Mutual of Omaha also spoke at the hearing and mentioned how Matthes’ actions caused the company to investigate the matter and to reimburse most of the victims for their losses.
“Matthes betrayed the trust of family, friends, and others who simply were trying to invest their hard-earned savings to provide financial security for themselves in retirement. The Department of Justice is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to seek justice on behalf of victims of financial fraud,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Frohling.
The case was investigated by the FBI, U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Oconomowoc Polie Department.
“This fraudster took advantage of some of our most vulnerable citizens,” says FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hughes.