Piqua man sentenced after investment fraud


By Haylee Pence

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TROY – After over a year since being indicted, a Piqua man was sentenced Monday, April 10, on 16 charges including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Scott Fries, 56, of Piqua, was sentenced to three years of prison time for 16 charges by Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy M. Wall.

Those charges include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, three counts of misrepresentations in the sale of securities, four counts of securities fraud, two counts of fraudulent and deceptive conduct as an investment advisor representative, two counts of grand theft, false reports, two counts of theft from a person in a protected class and aggravated theft.

Counts two and three were merged together. Counts eight and nine were merged. Counts 12 and 13 were merged. Counts 15 and 15 were merged. The mergers were approved by the court.

Counts four and five were not approved for merger. Counts 10 and 11 were also not approved.

Fries owes a total of $418,000 to seven victims in restitution.

According to Matthew Joseph, assistant prosecutor, and Fries’ statements, Fries presented himself as an investment advisor. He convinced family and friends to invest their money.

Joseph stated, “that money was not invested.”

Wall said the pre-sentence investigation indicated the money received from the victims was deposited into Fries’ personal account. She went on to discuss how the money was spent on personal expenses, citing purchases made at Walmart, Home Depot, and medical expenses along with personal debt, mortgage payments and truck payments.

According to Wall, when asked about the state of the investments, Fries showed the victim a false report of a fraudulent investment account.

One of the victims brought the false statement to a different financial advisor who allegedly found it was a false account.

The court recognized $9,053 has been paid back to one of the victims. Fries and his counsel, alleged Fries had been paying back one victim, but Wall said the court “cannot recognize” the payments due to “lack of evidence.”

During his statement, Fries said, “I thought I was going to be able to help my friends out and make them some money.”

Wall said, “All of those letters say you were a good person without money,” referencing victim impact statements and statements of support.

“I didn’t want to bring pain and suffering, but I did,” said Fries.

Fries’ counsel, Thomas M. Kollin, said Fries was able to pay $962 a week towards restitution.

In response, Joseph asked, “Where has that been?” He referenced that the court proceedings began in 2021, and the lack of payments from Fries.

Following Fries’ release in three years, he will be mandated to post-release control for a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years.

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