Investor pleads guilty to taking cash

Daily Reporter staff reports

INDIANAPOLIS — A McCordsville man who swindled friends, family and church members out of nearly $400,000 they trusted him to invest pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court Monday.

David H. Essington, 45, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, United States Attorney Josh Minkler said in a news release issued Monday.

Essington was a businessman who day-traded in the futures market as a hobby, the release stated.

Essington passed himself off as a talented investor, and friends and family gave him money to invest for them — but much of that cash went into Essington’s pocket instead, officials said.

At least 19 people, many of whom were family and members of the defendant’s church, were victimized starting in 2012 when Essington accepted money to invest for them in the securities market, the release stated.

Victims gave Essington $484,000 — $16,000 of which he invested. He returned about $80,000 to investors for a total loss of about $390,000, the release stated.

By December 2013, Essington had spent the balance of the investments on personal items, officials said.

“Defrauding individuals of their life’s savings is a crime my office takes very seriously,” Minkler said in the release. “If you plan to steal money from those who put their trust in your investment decisions, federal prison will be your next stop.”