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Secretary of State

Securities Division > News Archive  > 2004 Press Releases > For Immediate Release: December 16, 2004 Secretary of State Todd Rokita today commented on the sentencing

Contact: Kate Shepherd

Anderson, IN -- Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today commented on the sentencing of a Madison County man who pled guilty to two counts of theft and one count of arson. One of the theft counts against Rodney Ellis stemmed from an investigation initiated by Rokita's office after several victims filed loan-related complaints. Ellis has been sentenced to a total of 12 1/2 years in prison. All but four years of the sentence were suspended.

The Secretary of State's office began investigating Ellis in May of 2003. Ellis did business under the names Financial Integrity; Mortgage Works, Incorporated; and Financial Integrity, Incorporated. Rokita's office revoked his loan broker license in October of 2004 after finding multiple violations of the Loan Broker Act.

Investigators say Ellis took from his victims large amounts of money to be used for loan broker fees and closing costs. Such costs are not bona fide third party fees under Indiana law. He also failed to properly disclose other fees. It is believed Ellis took more than $20,000 from his victims.

"His victims trusted Ellis to help them obtain mortgages on their homes," Rokita said. "The fact that he was sentenced to time in prison should send a message to others who think they can scam Hoosiers out of their hard-earned money. I want to thank Madison County Prosecting Attorney Rodney Cummings and his staff for pursuing this case. In my office, former investigator Betsy Ault, Susan Shambaugh, Amy Wolf, and Silvia Miller were invaluable."

"I was happy with the sentencing," Madison County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steve Koester said. "Mr. Ellis has a long history of con-related offenses."

Secretary Rokita urges Hoosiers to check out loan brokers to insure they are properly licensed by calling his office at 1-800-223-8791.