LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- In our Rip-Off Alert, a story that comes with a warning: Invest your money only with established, brand-name investment companies. If you don't do that, you could be risking your life savings.
"I thought he was a real nice fella. I thought as much of him as much as my kids. I put a lot of trust in the guy," said retired business owner Loren Dalton.
That trust was not returned. Dalton's longtime accountant, Barry Korcan, stole more than $900,000 from him in a bogus investment scheme
"He did my income taxes, and later he came up with this investment -- guaranteed -- never dropped below 8 percent,” Dalton said. “It wasn't worth the paper it was on."
Korcan urged his clients to put their money in his company called Guardian Investments. The ironic name didn't protect clients from false hope.
"They would get these statements thinking their money was growing,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Randy Hayden. “At the end of the day, these people lost their entire investments."
Korcan stole more than $7 million of his clients’ money and used it to buy several properties, including a golf center, lake homes and office buildings. Meanwhile, his victims lost everything.
"I feel terrible about it,” Dalton said. “I don't want anyone else to have to go through what I went through."
Korcan turned himself into the authorities. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and income tax evasion, and faces more than four years in jail.