Jay Costa Kelter, formerly known as Ignatius J. Costa, III, 48, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on five counts of wire fraud, 16 counts of mail fraud, and one count of securities fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran of the Middle District of Tennessee.
The indictment alleges that Kelter, who was affiliated with a Florida-based insurance and investment company, defrauded an elderly Brentwood, Tenn. woman out of approximately $1.4 million. Detailed allegations set forth in the indictment include that Kelter convinced the victim to open investment accounts with a discount brokerage company by falsely stating that he was employed with the discount brokerage company. Kelter routinely posed as the victim investor to conduct trades and transfer funds to accounts which he personally owned or controlled. Kelter spent thousands of the victim’s investment funds on expenditures benefiting himself and others, including purchases and payments for luxury cars such as a Mercedes, a Lamborghini and a $101,400 Bentley; and paying more than $21,000 for custom jewelry. The indictment also alleges that Kelter used some of the client funds to repay other investment clients in what is commonly known as a Ponzi scheme. According to FINRA BrokerCheck, Kelter was registered in the securities industry for 17 years with three firms, including Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services and VSR Financial Services, Inc.
If convicted, Kelter faces up to 20 years in prison on each count and up to a $5 million fine.
If you are a prior client of Mr. Kelter and lost money due to his investment recommendations, please contact the securities fraud attorney's at Colling Gilbert Wright and Carter for a free consultation to determine if you may be able to recover your losses. Thank you.