Couple loses their investmentsPublished 2:18pm Wednesday, October 14, 2009
By NORMA LERNER
CASSOPOLIS – A Cass County couple who trusted their investment advisor found out they might have just as well invested their funds with Bernie Madoff as their money is gone.
Friday morning in Cass County Circuit Court, Judge Michael Dodge told Richard Moore who ran off with about $84,000 of their money, “You gave into the temptation of stealing. It was the same as Bernie Madoff.”
Moore, 59, of 3462 Sandwood Drive, South Bend, Ind. got nine months jail and put on probation for five years with restitution to pay of $83,997 on his conviction of larceny by conversion over $20,000.
The victim said he met Moore eight years ago. He and his wife trusted him to take care of their finances since he was an investment advisor and, consequently, became a friend of the family. Moore even invited the couple to his daughter’s graduation from high school. “We have been devastated.” He asked for the “harshest” sentencing he could get and to pay back all of the money that they had saved for their retirement.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Frank Machnik told the court that Moore was a man who took advantage of other people and used their monies to support an opulent lifestyle. The victims worked hard and put their money away in this economy of hard times where a dollar is not what it used to be. He said Moore should be punished to the extent of the law at nine months and probation for five years and pay restitution in full. Penalties and fees that have not been included are still being figured out.
Defense attorney James Miller said this was unfortunate and that Moore is expected to be employed to make restitution.
Dodge said $4,000 was taken from another couple who trusted him to invest in their IRA account.
“This was one of many conversions from 2007 to 2009,” he recounted. Dodge said Moore’s explanation was that he was attempting to meet his wife’s demands for material costs.
“You responded to stealing. That was a copout,” Dodge said.
He added Moore could have stood on his own two feet and told his wife, “no.” Dodge said Moore has a master’s degree and for many years was a therapist and instructor.
Dodge found no reason to deviate from the nine-months jail and agreed with the prosecutor to give him the maximum. His fines and costs totaled $3,328.
In another sentencing, William Shepard, 39, of 20024 Marcellus Highway, Decatur, got 51 months to 30 years for operating/and maintaining a methamphetamine lab on Aug. 27, 2008.
The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team found Shepard to be in possession after finding residue of manufacturing meth in his car. He received credit for time served of 365 days since he served 409 days for possession of meth, maintaining a drug house, second offense, and use of a police scanner in the commission of a felony. His fines and costs totaled $1,132.
Other sentencings are as follows:
• Joseph Lambright, 29, 615 Indian Avenue, South Bend, Ind. received five years probation plus 180 days jail for failure to pay child support for two children. His back support is over $50,000 for the children. He also fathered three children from two different mothers, Dodge noted.
His fines and costs totaled $2,128.
• Corey Brookins, 24, 404-1⁄2 Pennsylvania Avenue, Dowagiac, received 300 days jail for third-offense domestic violence against his live-in and mother of his child on July 29. He is to pay $120 costs.
• Marvin Price, 33, 1601 Superior St., Niles, got 365 days jail for delivery/manufacturing cocaine less than 25 grams on June 18 and a concurrent 365 days jail for resisting and obstructing a police officer. He is to pay $196 costs.