Scottsdale man receives 16-year sentence for investment fraud scheme
PHOENIX — A Scottsdale man was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in a nationwide investment fraud scheme, authorities said Monday.
Kent Maerki, 78, made misrepresentations about his businesses to solicit investments, according to court documents.
Maerki, who owned Dental Support Plus Franchise, LLC, and Janus Spectrum, LLC, cost victims more than $23 million in losses and kept about $4 million of those funds as part of a conspiracy.
He mostly targeted elderly victims who cashed out on their 401(k) retirement plans and other retirement accounts to invest in companies founded by Maerki.
Their money was then being transferred to other companies controlled by other members of the conspiracy, according to court documents.
“This defendant made millions of dollars by deceiving innocent investors and perpetuating a scheme that defrauded vulnerable victims out of their hard-earned retirement funds,” Raj Parekh, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a press release.
“Today’s sentence sends a strong message that anyone in the financial services industry who lies, manipulates and steals their way to success acts at their own peril and risks substantial jail time if they do not operate their practices truthfully and with integrity.”