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Secretary of State

Securities Division > News Archive  > 2004 Press Releases > For Immediate Release: June 24, 2004 Investigation Leads to Securities Conviction in Vanderburgh, Dubois, Daviess Counties

Contact: Cam Savage
317-232-6533
Media@sos.in.gov

Indianapolis, IN -- Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today applauded a plea agreement between Prosecuting Attorneys in Vanderburgh, Dubois, and Daviess Counties and James Carpenter, a resident of Ohio, that includes three years in jail and several more years of probation for Carpenter. Carpenter agreed to the deal after being charged with multiple violations of the Indiana Securities Act.

"White collar criminals are beginning to get the message that, in Indiana, we are not going to tolerate this type of criminal activity," Rokita said.

An investigation initiated by Rokita's office regarding Carpenter's activities led to 40 criminal counts alleging Carpenter offered and sold unregistered securities and promissory notes. Carpenter ran several companies including The Vision Capital Group, Ltd.,The Vantage Capital Group, Inc., Dennisson Funds, Ltd. and Stanford Capital Group, Ltd.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Carpenter will face three years in prison, followed by five years on probation. Carpenter is also ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.

The Secretary of State's office referred the case to Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco, who under Indiana law has the authority to file criminal charges. Levco appointed Deputy Prosecutor Brent Weil to handle the case for his office. The offices continued working together to develop the case, which ultimately resulted in 40 counts of alleged criminal activity, all Class C felonies.

During the course of the investigation it was determined that additional violations had occurred in other southern Indiana counties. The Dubois County Prosecutor, Michael A. Fritch, and the Daviess County Prosecutor, G. Byron Overton, joined in filing charges against Carpenter in their respective counties.

"I want to congratulate Prosecutor Levco, Brent Weil, and their staff for seeing this case through to a successful conclusion. I am also proud of the work done by Paul Lawson and Fred Sturdevant from my office." Rokita said. "This is an excellent example of what is possible when officials at the state and local level cooperate, share resources, and put the interests of Hoosiers first."

A promissory note is a written promise to pay a sum of money to a specific person at a particular time in the future. This type of note typically involves a loan to a company or person made by an investor in exchange for a fixed amount of periodic income. Legitimate promissory notes are marketed almost exclusively to sophisticated or corporate investors who can thoroughly research the companies issuing the notes and to determine whether the issuers have the capacity to pay the promised interest and principal.

Rokita reminded Hoosiers to check out any opportunity before investing. Businesses holding themselves out to be corporations should be registered with Rokita's office, as should investments and their sellers. Information can be verified at Rokita's website, http://www.sos.in.gov/, or by phone 800.223.8791.