Financial crime victims in Ohio can now receive compensation

Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The pain and embarrassment of being scammed out of your money is tough enough to face.

Finding out you can probably never get that money back adds insult to injury.

Now, the state is helping these victims with the Ohio Investor Recovery Fund that launched Wednesday.

“Ohio is one of the front runners, it’s not the last to get something like this,” Robert Edmonds said.

Edmonds is a retired Cleveland police officer, and 19 News has covered his story extensively.

He and his wife lost $250,000 at the hands of Westlake financial advisor, Raymond Erker.

Back in August, Erker was sentenced to 22 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of stealing from 54 people, most of them elderly.

“We never thought we would re-cooperate any money,” Edmonds said.

Thanks to the recovery fund, Erker’s victims will be some of the first to get back some of the money they lost.

“The hole in 54 victims hearts will never will never go away, but it’s a little piece of mind that they get back,” said Vivian McLaughlin, Edmond’s daughter.

Edmonds and McLaughlin were there in person in Columbus as the Department of Commerce announced how the fund would work.

“All of the money for the fund comes from the division’s excess operating revenue and cash reserves, zero taxpayers’ dollars will be used,” Andrea Seidt with the Ohio Department of Commerce said.

Victims can only recoup up to $25,000. Click here to apply for compensation.