Indianapolis-Area, High-Profile Financier Keenan Hauke, CEO of SAMEX Capital, Receives 10 Years for Securities Fraud
Keenan R. Hauke, of Fishers, Indiana, was sentenced to 10 years and 1 month in prison last Friday for defrauding 67 victims out of more than $7 million. He also was ordered to serve five years of supervised release, and to pay $7,132,820.12 in restitution. The sentence comes on the heels of Hauke’s Dec. 2011 guilty plea to one count of securities fraud.
According to court documents, Hauke founded Fishers-based Samex Capital in 1999. As owner and CEO, he immediately formed a hedge fund and began to solicit investors. Within a very short period of time, he had procured millions of dollars in investments.
Starting in 2004, Hauke admitted, he began to engage in an investment scheme to defraud the fund’s investors. Rather than investing the funds as promised, he began to invest millions of client dollars into Michigan real estate. This was done without client notice or approval. When the holdings lost nearly all of their value, Hauke created and distributed fake account statements that falsely reported high rates of return. Any investors who closed their accounts were paid off with money from newer investors.
Prosecutors in the case said that Hauke also moved assets among accounts in order to avoid scrutiny. For example, after the real estate holdings lost their value, Hauke separated Samex Capital’s accounts into two groups: a “Brokerage Group” and a “Real Estate Group.” Accounts with legitimate investments were kept in the Brokerage Group, while accounts that had invested in the nearly worthless real estate holdings were moved to the Real Estate Group.
Officials were alerted to the investment fraud when a former employee became suspicious and resigned from Samex Capital in April 2011. In addition to notifying the Indiana Securities Division of his suspicions, the employee also informed a number of investors that their investments might not have been secure. The investment scheme was reported to the public shortly thereafter.