Skip to main content

Southwest Ohio man sentenced to prison for $8.6M investment fraud scheme that defrauded Pike County investors

Southern District of Ohio, Press Release

A Southwest Ohio man was sentenced in U.S. District Court Thursday to 24 months in prison for orchestrating an investment fraud scheme in Pike County and for failing to remit money withheld from employee paychecks to employee retirement funds.

Robert W. Walton, Jr., 55, of Loveland, was also ordered to pay more than $8.6 million in restitution.

According to court documents, Walton committed two distinct financial crimes that resulted in a total loss of $8,657,603. He defrauded investors in a company he co-founded and stole retirement funds of its employees.

Walton engaged in a scheme to defraud investors of Hadsell Chemical Processing, LLC (HCP) and related entities. Walton was the president of HCP and fraudulently sought investments in the form of promissory notes from dozens of victim investors.

Walton claimed the notes were personally guaranteed by a prominent local business owner when in fact they were not. Walton repeatedly forged the business owner’s signature from 2012 through 2015 without the business owner’s authority on several loan documents and promissory notes.

Walton falsely represented his company’s future revenues from another business to be in the millions by creating fake invoices. The actual total legitimate business revenue HCP had with that other business was approximately $50,000. He provided the fake invoices to investors. Walton also provided investors with falsified profit and loss statements, including one that changed HCP’s net income from a loss of approximately $800,000 to a profit of nearly $395,000.

Walton also engaged in Ponzi-type activity by paying earlier investors with money received from new investors.

During part of his employment at HCP, Walton was responsible for approving the remittance of employee retirement funds to an employee benefit plan sponsored by HCP. Walton failed to remit approximately $53,000 withheld from employees’ paychecks, failing to transfer the funds into employee retirement funds.

Walton pleaded guilty in March 2023 to wire fraud and embezzling from employee benefit plans.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Cheryl Mimura, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Cincinnati Division; and L. Joe Rivers, Regional Director, United States Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, Cincinnati Regional Office, announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. Assistant United States Attorney Peter K. Glenn-Applegate is representing the United States in this case.

Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.