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Securities Division > News Archive  > 2003 Press Releases > For Immediate Release: April 17, 2003 Secretary of State Rokita's Office Uncovers Investment Fraud in Howard County

Contact: Heather Sewell

Secretary of State Rokita's Office Uncovers Investment Fraud in Howard County
Rokita applauds the sentencing of Grady Rogers

Indianapolis, IN -- Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today applauded the sentencing of convicted Securities Act violator Grady Rogers. The decision rendered by a jury in January against Rogers included 22 guilty verdicts for securities violations and one guilty verdict for a corrupt business influence act. Today's sentencing included 42 years in prison and $110,931 in restitution.

Rogers' criminal convictions are the culmination of an investigation initiated by Rokita's office regarding Rogers' activities with Strategic Marketing Group, Inc., a firm that Rogers operated to sell unlicensed securities. The investigation led to evidence that Rogers and his company illegally sold securities to unsuspecting Hoosiers. Rogers then used the invested funds for personal expenses. Rokita's office then worked with the Lt. Jeff Kirk of the Kokomo Police Department and Howard County Prosecuting Attorney James Fleming. Rokita referred the case to Fleming, who under Indiana law has the authority to file criminal charges. The offices continued working together to develop the case, which ultimately resulted in the 23-count conviction.

"From the statehouse to the courthouse, we worked as a team, utilizing all of our specialized resources and expertise to stop a man from hurting more people. I applaud Mr. Fleming and the Kokomo Police Department for all of their hard work," said Rokita. "This is exactly the type of government effectiveness that Hoosier taxpayers deserve. What Mr. Rogers deserves now is hard jail time, and I am pleased that he is getting just that. It is my hope that this serves as a deterrent for others who would defraud Hoosier investors."

"The help of the Secretary of State's Office, including providing testimony at trial and during sentencing, had a critical impact on the case," said Fleming. "I am surprised at the amount of time sentenced, but it was certainly deserved."

"Stealing money from people with a briefcase is worse than stealing it with a knife in my book-- these criminals need to do hard time," Rokita said. "I am very pleased with my staff, including Securities Commissioner Jim Joven, Attorneys Paul Lawson and Keith Griffin, and Investigator Richard Neff, for their work on behalf of Hoosiers. Their pursuit of justice in this matter was unwavering."

Rokita further reminded Hoosiers to check out any investment opportunity before investing. Businesses holding themselves out to be corporations should be registered with Rokita's office, as should both investments and their sellers. Information can be verified at Rokita's website or by phone at 317.232.6576 (for corporations) or 1.800.223.8791 (for securities).