Indianapolis man convicted for social media app scam | #phishing | #scams

Documents say David Betner told six investors he was designing a social media app. When investors grew anxious, he told them Facebook was about to buy the app.

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man was convicted 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.

His plea agreement carries a possible maximum sentence of 12 years in jail. He was ordered to pay $386,470 in restitution to seven individuals.

Betner will learn his sentence on Jan. 14, 2022.

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,” said Secretary Sullivan. “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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