CLEVELAND - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, and Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor announced today that a Medina County man has been sentenced to serve eight years in prison for orchestrating an investment scheme that primarily targeted older Ohioans between 2009 and 2014.
Dennis Flood, 64, of Brunswick, pleaded guilty in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court last month to felony charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and aggravated theft. He was sentenced today by Judge Hollie Gallagher to serve eight years in prison and pay a total of $1,153,163.77 in restitution to the victims who lost money in connection with the scheme.
Today's sentencing comes as a result of an investigation conducted as part of the Ohio Attorney General's Elder Justice Initiative by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Ohio Department of Insurance and Portage County Sheriff's Office. The case was prosecuted by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.
The investigation found that Flood stole more than $1 million from 45 victims in Ohio and Pennsylvania by deceiving them into purchasing fictitious investment certificates through his company, D.L. Flood Agency. The victims, who were primarily in their 70s and 80s, were promised a large return on their investments, but few ever received any money back.
"This defendant sought out elderly, vulnerable targets wherever he could find them, and some of the victims ended up losing their entire life savings to this predator after he spent their hard-earned money on himself," said Attorney General DeWine. "Crimes against our older residents will not be overlooked in Ohio, and those who take advantage of senior citizens will be held accountable."
“Dennis Flood lined his own pockets by plundering the life savings of his elderly, vulnerable victims. He took advantage of their faith in him and left them penniless in their old age," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office Economic Crime Unit Chief Paul Soucie. "His greed merits every day of the prison sentence he’s been given, but his shame should continue long after that.”
“Targeting our elderly citizens with false investment schemes and stealing their life savings are crimes that will not be tolerated in Ohio,” said Lieutenant Governor Taylor, also Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “I am pleased that through our partnership, this individual is being held accountable for his inexcusable actions.”
The 45 victims were residents of the following counties: Ashtabula, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Crawford, Geauga, Huron, Knox, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Muskingum, Ottawa, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Wayne, Alleghany (Pa.), Crawford (Pa.), and Washington (Pa.).
Attorney General DeWine launched the Elder Justice Initiative last year to increase the investigation and prosecution of elder abuse cases and improve victims' access to services in Ohio. Anyone who suspects incidents of elder abuse or financial exploitation should contact their local authorities or the Attorney General's Elder Justice Initiative at 1-800-282-0515.