Oconomowoc investment broker charged with $2.6M wire fraud

U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger announced that, on Nov. 25, 2020, Edward Matthes has been charged with wire fraud violations. Matthes, 50, has entered into an agreement to plead guilty to the charges.

According to the written plea agreement filed in the case, Matthes, who is from Oconomowoc, previously was employed as an independent investment broker for Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc. (MOIS), devised and executed a scheme to defraud his clients and to obtain money by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses and representations.

The essence of Matthes’ scheme, according to a Department of Justice news release, was to persuade clients to transfer investment funds from their existing accounts to a new MOIS-sponsored account, which Matthes claimed would perform better.

Instead of opening new MOIS accounts for his clients, Matthes deposited their money into his personal bank accounts and converted it to his own use. 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.

According to the plea agreement, Matthes fraudulently obtained more than $2.6 million dollars from at least 23 clients, many of whom are elderly.

Each of the three counts that Matthes is charged with 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.

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Pursuant to the plea agreement, Matthes has agreed to a 13-year debarment period, during which he will be prohibited from participating in, or having decision-making authority over, any employee benefit plan.

The information provided in a charging document and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.