Ohio Man Charged with Grand Theft, Unlawful Securities Practices

(NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio)— Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Commerce – Division of Securities announced today that a New Philadelphia man has been indicted on 31 felony charges related to the fraudulent sale of securities in Tuscarawas County. 

Keith Elsesser, 50, is charged with 29 counts of unlawful securities practices and two counts of grand theft.  

Prosecutors with Attorney General DeWine’s Special Prosecutions Section presented the case to a Tuscarawas County grand jury last week. 

An investigation by the Ohio Department of Commerce – Division of Securities found that Elsesser allegedly sold phony securities to two local investors between 2011 and 2013. Elsesser is accused of leading the victims to believe that they were investing in an energy drink venture, but he allegedly spent the victims’ investments on himself.

“This investigation found that the defendant allegedly convinced the victims into believing that they would make quite a return on their investments, when in fact, he never intended to return a dime,” said Attorney General DeWine. 

The loss to both victims is a total of approximately $90,000. 

Elsesser was previously convicted on federal charges in North Carolina in connection with a similar scheme.

The case was investigated with the assistance of the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the New Philadelphia Police Department, and the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office. 

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