MILWAUKEE — A former Oconomowoc investment broker was charged in federal court after scamming $2.6 million from at least 26 people, many of whom are elderly, according to federal prosecutors.
Edward Matthes, 50, has entered into a plea agreement to plead guilty to three counts of wire fraud Wednesday, according to the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Matthes is a former investment broker for Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc. Prosecutors say he devised a scheme to defraud his clients and take their money.
That scheme consisted of persuading clients to transfer their investment funds from their own accounts into a new, Mutual of Omaha-sponsored account. Matthes told the victims that their investments would perform better in that account, according to prosecutors.
But instead of opening new accounts, Matthes deposited his clients' investments into his own personal bank account.
"Matthes lulled his clients into believing their investments were performing well by sending fictitious MOIS account statements and by phoning and meeting with clients to discuss the performance of their investments," U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Krueger explained in a statement Wednesday.
Per his plea agreement, Matthes obtained more than $2.6 million from at least 23 clients, many of whom are elderly.
Each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release following any prison term.
Matthes has agreed to a 13-year debarment period.