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Securities Fraud Victims Receive Restitution From State Fund
Updated November 22, 2016 6:24 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced that $62,500 has recently been awarded to six victims of two separate securities schemes by way of the Secretary of State's Securities Restitution Fund.

"Many scam artists quickly spend their ill-gotten gains, leaving very little which can be returned to victims," stated Secretary Lawson. "These cases demonstrate the continued importance of the Secretary of State's Restitution Fund, through which victims can generally recoup at least some portion of their losses and begin to rebuild their lives."

Four of the individuals were victims of Gary Atkinson and Donna Harris, who were convicted of securities fraud in September. The four received restitution fund awards totaling $32,500. Atkinson and Harris, both of Porter County, offered investment opportunities under the name Dunes Country Mortgage Partners or NovaStar Securities. The investment was a purported real estate development along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Atkinson and Harris were ordered to pay $2,183,831 in restitution.

The other two restitution fund award recipients were victims of Mark Bunker of Sarasota, Florida. The victims both received the max award of $15,000. Bunker was sentenced in Marion County in August for securities fraud. Bunker offered investments opportunities in a company he claimed he was creating called Advanced Commission Money, Inc. Bunker earned the trust of his victims by provided financial planning for life insurance and annuities. Bunker was ordered to pay $287,995.63 in restitution.

Under the Indiana Securities Restitution Fund, victims of securities violations can receive up to 25 percent of their net losses, up to a max of $15,000. Since the Securities Restitution Fund was established in 2010, it has helped victims recover nearly $500,000 in restitution payments.

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