Joseph Stephen Fabian, a financial advisor from Gobles, Mich., was sentenced to 92 months in prison for defrauding 30 clients out of $4.8 million, according to U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis. Some of the victims were supporting special needs children or people with health problems.

Fabian, who operated as Fabian & Associates LLC of Kalamazoo and as Fabian Financial Group, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. He was sentenced Feb. 28 by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff.

Between 2005 and 2010 Fabian induced his clients to withdraw money from their existing retirement accounts, investment accounts and bank accounts and invest it in his products. However, Fabian fabricated some of the investment products or failed to deposit the money into ones that did exist.
He used the money for himself, the U.S. Attorney said. Many of the victims were retired or near retirement and were looking for safe investment opportunities. Some wanted to use their earnings to support special needs children and individuals with health problems.

He diverted the money to shell corporations and used it to buy heavy equipment and military surplus that he intended to use to develop a business of reselling the items. Fabian agreed to forfeit the equipment and make restitution of $3.8 million.