Hamilton County Sting Nets Securities Offender

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today praises the arrest of Phillip Butler and filing of additional criminal charges against him by Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Sonya Leerkamp. A sting, initiated by Rokita's office and carried out with the assistance of the Indiana State Police and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, has led to additional charges of securities fraud against Butler. Butler was to stand trial for three previous felony counts brought against him by Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney Louis Evans resulting from another investigation initiated by the Secretary of State's office. Butler now faces additional Class C felony counts, with potential punishment ranging from two to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

During the sting, Bulter made an offer and completed a sale for $50,000 to an undercover Indiana State Police Detective and a Secretary of State's office Securities Investigator. Butler, who has been barred from the securities industry since 1989, illegally offered to the detective shares of a corporation called PanaMed, which is not a registered stock with the Secretary of State's office as required by law.

"This is the kind of repeat criminal activity that has to stop," Rokita said. "Clearly this man didn't get the message the first time he was arrested and contiued to break the law . This successful cooperation on the part of all offices involved sends the message that Indiana will not stand by and let its citizens be victimized."

"We will be seeking a higher bond for Mr. Butler because of his continued foray into this type of activity," Prosecutor Leerkamp said. "It appears that he has not been rehabilitated yet and perhaps needs to sit in jail and think about it for a while." Rokita's office referred the case to Leerkamp's office, who under Indiana law has authority to file criminal charges. The offices continued working together to set up the sting.

"Basically the Secretary of State's office did the bulk of the work with Hamilton County doing a lot as well," Detective Mike Mimnicus said.

"I want to congratulate Prosecutor Leerkamp and her staff for their hard work on this case. I am also proud of the work done by Securities Commissioner James Joven, Kim Haskins and Charles Williams from my Prosecution Assistance Unit, and Laura Emrick from my Securities Division," Rokita said. "I also want to specifically thank Detectives Mimnicus, Uhrick, Howell, Nickel, McKinney, and Anderson of Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter's office."

The Prosecution Assistance Unit was created by Rokita and Joven in 2004 to further existing investigations and facilitate local law enforcement's prosecution of alleged Securities Act violations. The focus of the office is to assist state court prosecutors in an effort to work together at the courthouse and statehouse to root out this white collar crime.