Six people invested more than $383,000 in a social media app that David Betner claimed he was designing.

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man will spend 12 years behind bars for scamming six people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars that they thought they were investing in an up-and-coming social media app. 

Six people invested more than $383,000 in a social media app that David Betner claimed he was designing. 

When investors grew anxious, documents allege Betner told them the company was on the verge of being purchased by Facebook for millions of dollars.

Investigators later found that Betner had spent that money on personal expenses and didn’t tell the investors about his criminal history, including prior felony convictions for forgery and theft. 

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Betner pleaded guilty to eight felonies including one county of corrupt business influence, six counts of fraud in the offer or sale of a security, and one count of check deception.

In addition to prison, he was ordered to pay $386,470 in restitution to seven individuals.

To avoid scams like this one, Indiana Secretary of State Holly Sullivan said Hoosiers can check with her office to see if a business or individual seeking investment is properly registered.

“My office, through the Securities Division, works to protect your hard-earned money,” Sullivan said. “I encourage Hoosiers to research securities professionals and offerings by accessing the Indiana Securities Portal and contacting the Securities Division at (317) 232-6681. If you or anyone you know has been the victim of securities fraud, contact our office immediately.”

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