Today, Darrin Marion of Darrin’s Coffee Company in Zionsville was sentenced to two years on home detention and four years of probation for selling an unregistered investment in real estate development. He was also ordered to pay $90,000 in restitution; he has already paid $10,000. Marion plead guilty to one count of securities fraud, a Class C Felony for failing to register as a broker-dealer after an investigation by Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s Prosecution Assistance Unit led to the filing of criminal charges by Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.
“Marion’s actions of taking advantage of a family friend are despicable,” said Secretary Lawson. “I’m pleased that he will be punished for his actions and that he has already started the process of repaying his victim. I hope he continues to make payments so his victim can be made whole.
“I also hope this case will remind all Hoosiers to always check with my office before investing. A simple phone call could save your investment dollars.”
The Secretary of State’s office began investigating after receiving a complaint about an investment made with Darrin Marion. Marion sold his father’s college roommate an investment opportunity in a Texas real estate development project that would supposedly generate significant revenue. Marion told his father’s former roommate that he too was investing and that the principal would be safe from loss.
After the investment was made, Marion assured his client that the funds were safe but never provided documentation as requested. Eventually, he told his client the project was delayed and stopped returning his clients phone calls and failed to meet with him. When Marion’s client could no longer locate him, he contacted the Secretary of State’s office for assistance.
The Secretary of State’s office immediately discovered that Marion was previously registered as a securities professional. His registration was terminated in 2008 due to criminal acts involving the use of a client’s identity. In January of 2008, the Secretary of State’s office permanently banned Marion from the securities industry.
“Investors should always look into their financial professional’s background before agreeing to any transaction,” said Securities Commissioner Alex Glass. “The Secretary of State’s website allows Hoosiers to research their financial professionals with a simple search or you can call the office and we will happily look up records for you. I encourage all Hoosiers to do a little research before making any investments. It could save you a lot of time and money.”
Submitted release from the Office of the Indiana Secretary of State.