November 29, 2023

Ahead of a jury trial scheduled to begin in March, an Ohio investment advisor yesterday changed a not-guilty plea to guilty for her role in a Ponzi scheme in which about $9.3 million was misappropriated from clients, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office statement.

Tara M. Brunst, of Olmsted Falls, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud, the statement said. According to a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson, the maximum possible sentence for each count is 20 years, but Brunst’s attorney, Timothy Kucharski, said in an email he expects she will receive “a fair and reasonable sentence.” That sentence will be handed down in May.

The cases of two co-defendants, Raymond Erker and Kevin Krantz, are scheduled to go to trial March 22.

According to a grand jury indictment in September 2020, Brunst had been a licensed investment advisor in Ohio since May 2014, and worked for Erker beginning in July 2015. Erker, also a licensed investment advisor, owned several investment and asset management companies, including Sageguard Wealth Management, GenSource Financial Assurance Company and Provident Securities, the court document said, adding that in addition to working at Sageguard, Brunst owned an interest in GenSource.

From January…

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