INDIANAPOLIS (July 25, 2016) — Today, the former chief financial officer of Ovation Audio-Video Solution LLC, Alfred Talens, was sentenced to serve three years suspended sentence to be served on probation. Talens pleaded guilty to securities fraud for using $250,000 from an investment client as part of a scheme in which he embezzled more than $600,000 from his employer for his own personal expenses. Talens was ordered to pay $616,858 in restitution of which he is expected to pay $150,000 by Monday.
“Talens took advantage of his position and his clients’ trust,” said Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson. “In this case, his victims came forward and we were able to work with Prosecutor Curry and his team to bring this perpetrator to justice. If you or someone you know is ever the victim of investment fraud, please report it to my office immediately. If a crime is reported as soon as it happens, it gives my team the chance to freeze the stolen funds before they are spent.”
“Theft and fraud of this nature is not uncommon, but we believe it is often underreported. Our office is prepared to prosecute allegations of securities fraud and employee theft and hold accountable those who financially take advantage of others through positions of trust,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry added. “We sincerely appreciate the partnership with Secretary of State Lawson’s office in investigating these crimes.”
When Talens was serving as CFO for Ovation, he was also working as a partner at Ascension Wealth Management LLC, a small Indianapolis based financial firm. During this time, he convinced one of his Ascension clients to invest $400,000 with Ovation. Talens told his client that he would receive a 7 percent interest rate on the 3 year investment.
Talens then told Ovation that he had a client interested in investing money in a new business venture for the company. Talens told Ovation that he personally invested $150,000 of his own money and that his client invested $250,000 for a total of $400,000. The reality was all of the money came from Talens’ client.
Talens not only lied about how much was being invested by himself and his client, he never used the money for Ovations business and never made any payments to his client who invested. Instead, Talens used the money for a personal sports club membership, airline tickets, credit cards bills, home improvements, Pacers tickets, along with numerous other luxury services and products.
The theft was discovered in 2014 when an Ovations employee discovered several suspicious purchases, cash withdraws and checks written. The checks were written to Ascension, Talens’ financial management group. When confronted, Talens claimed he was repaying himself for the $150,000 loan he falsely claimed to have made to Ascension.
Hoosiers can research securities professionals by calling 317-232-6681 or by looking at the database online at sos.in.gov. For information on how to avoid becoming a victim of investment fraud visit www.indianamoneywise.com.