Men Behind American Radio Empire Scam Get to Prison Time
|RADIO ONLINE | Friday, October 18, 2019|
The two former radio personalities that defrauded investors out of millions of dollars have been sentenced to prison, reports the Las Cruces Sun News. Both Dain Schult and Joel Hixon were charged with trying to convince investors they were assembling a iHeartRadio-type multimedia conglomerate. They were convicted in June of fraud over $20,000, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, the sale of unregistered security and the sale of security by an unlicensed agent.
Schult received a four year sentence and Hixon was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Both were ordered to make restitution of $25,000. "These men violated the trust of their investors with lies and deception. Their prison sentences send a loud and clear message of deterrence to criminals committing fraud in New Mexico," said New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent Marguerite Salazar.
The newspaper originally reported that the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department claimed Schult, who lives in Austin, TX, used his companies -- American Radio Empire Inc. and American Wireless and Entertainment Inc. -- to recruit experienced radio personalities such as Hixon of Las Cruces to solicit investments from unsuspecting friends, with offers of future employment.
Schult and Hixon allegedly led investors to believe that the money they raised was being used to pay for services aimed at funding an initial public offering of Schult's company, said the state of New Mexico. Additionally, Schult and Hixon told investors that the money from the sale of promissory notes would be used to purchase smaller radio stations around the U.S. while placing them on the Internet.
"All told from 1998 to present, we estimate Schult earned $1.4 million strictly from convincing people to give it to him," said Bouillon-Mascarenas. "This case involving religion and radio demonstrates that affinity fraud can affect anyone, no matter their line of work."