Federal authorities are still searching for a former South Bend attorney who faces several charges of mail fraud stemming from his alleged involvement in an investment scheme that exploited elderly victims.
Sven Eric Marshall, 61, remains at large and is sought by federal prosecutors for running an “elder abuse scam” through an investment company named Trust & Advisory Services of Indiana Inc. He is charged with five counts of mail fraud, according to an announcement Tuesday by United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Marshall on Wednesday. The case was investigated the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luke Reilander.
Marshall was already was ordered to repay more than $2.5 million to clients before the charges were filed, the Associated Press reported. He has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana since May 2017, when he was initially suspended for noncooperation with an Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission investigation. His discipline was then converted into an indefinite suspension the following October.
“Elder abuse scams, such as the scheme alleged in this case, will be aggressively prosecuted in this district,” U.S. Attorney Kirsch said in a statement. “The elderly are among the most vulnerable of victims. When they place their trust, and in some cases their life savings, into the hands of someone who abuses that trust to steal for personal gain, it is incumbent upon law enforcement to take action. Schemes targeting the elderly will never be tolerated.”
According to an indictment against him, Marshall began recruiting elderly investors in 1998 and promised returns of about 4 to 8 percent annually, but the company’s account was nearly empty by 2016. Marshall then allegedly transferred money to unrelated accounts.
By Dec. 2017, Marshall stopped communicating with investors and closed his office without notice. Investors have since been unable to locate Marshall or recover their investments. Several of Marshall’s investors were in their 70s and 80s at the time of the alleged crimes. Two are now deceased. The South Bend Tribune reported in September that Marshall was believed to be living in South Carolina.
Those with information about Marshall’s whereabouts may contact the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).