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SC investment adviser lost $3 million in client money, report says

About $3 million of the invested $3.6 million were lost, with most of that money coming from the retirement savings of elderly investors.
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Greenwood, SC (WLTX) - A Greenwood man was sentenced to more than 6 years in prison after issuing fraudulent account statements to his investors.

Melvin Leonard Wimmer, Jr., 53, was sentenced to 75 months in prison and 5 years of supervised release for securities fraud. He was also ordered to pay $3,056,000 in restitution.

In 2007, Wimmer started the investment firm Cornerstone Capital in Greenwood, where about 25 people invested $3.6 million from 2010-17.

Wimmer then reportedly pooled money into one bank account, and invested in high-risk securities and futures contracts. The money losses started shortly after trading began, but they were never reported. Instead, he falsely listed annual gains of 8-10 percent in monthly account statements to his investors.

In addition to the false reports, he misrepresented the expected trade gains, including his trades' past performance, and failed to inform the investors about how risky trading futures and options can be.

About $3 million of the invested $3.6 million were lost, with most of that money coming from the retirement savings of elderly investors.