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A former Westminster resident was recently indicted in federal court for allegedly committing mail fraud by convincing victims to give him money to invest on their behalf with the promise of high returns.

Jasper Buck, 59, now of Florida, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore for mail fraud, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore. Buck was indicted Jan. 21 and the indictment was unsealed Thursday.

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Buck allegedly obtained at least $1.9 million from the victims.

According to the release, Buck worked for mortgage companies but convinced investors he was an experienced adviser through Portfolio Financial Group.

Buck was a signatory for PFG and the company's addresses were listed as Buck's personal address or shipping and packaging stores, but he told investors there were other owners and employees, according to the release.

Between 2006 and 2014, Buck told victims PFG would loan money they provided to borrowers who needed the funds quickly and were willing to pay high interest rates because they couldn't get traditional bank loans, according to the release. Buck allegedly used the funds for his own personal use.

Some victims were convinced to refinance their home mortgages and use lines of credit to get money to invest with Buck. He in turn promised they would receive a monthly return on their investments, according to the release.

Buck allegedly used some of the money provided to pay other victims to convince them their investment was paying off, according to the release.

In January 2014, Buck exhausted all of the victims' funds and allegedly made various misrepresentations about the state of the company, including that PFG was updating software, was slowed by new federal regulations or was being sold to another company, according to the release.

Reach staff writer Heather Cobun at 410-857-7898 or email heather.cobun@carrollcountytimes.com.

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