The assets of a Goshen, Ind., investment manager have been frozen after he cheated members of his local Amish community out of $3.9 million, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday.
Earl D. Miller was “enormously successful at exploiting this investor network,” the SEC says in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana. Starting in 2008, Miller sought investments for his private investment vehicles, 5 Star Commercial LLC and 5 Star Capital Fund LLC, to invest in ‘green products’ and real estate.
Miller falsely told investors he would receive no compensation for managing the fund when, in reality, he used more than $1 million for his expenses and to repay a personal loan. He also told clients he would manage the risks and invest mostly in real estate. The portion of the money he did invest went instead into fledgling, highly speculative companies on which he did virtually no due diligence, the SEC says.