LEE COUNTY, Fla.- On Monday, Robert Schnepp, a former basketball coach at Cypress Lake High School, was sentenced to six years in Florida State Prison, followed by 24 years of probation, after pleading guilty to the charges of Grand Theft over $100,000 and Securities Fraud over $50,000 with five or more victims. Both charges are First Degree Felonies. Schnepp was also ordered to pay $192,600 in restitution to his victims.
Schnepp was arrested for scamming friends and fellow employees out of approximately $200,000 in December of 2012.
The investigation found that Schnepp convinced friends, teachers and fellow coaches that he was an investment advisor and could help them make money. During a three year period, he continued soliciting money for the scam. Schnepp even sent out bogus quarterly statements to his victims that indicated their investments were doing well.
The scheme began to unravel when some of Schnepp's victims asked to cash in some of their returns. Several checks he issued to the victims bounced. At this point, several of the victims became suspicious and contacted the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
The investigation shows that Schnepp operated a Ponzi scheme from 2008-2011. He solicited money from the victims, but instead of investing the money in the stock market, Schnepp would use it to pay previous investors and to pay for personal expenses. The investigation also revealed he was not licensed as an investment advisor in Florida during that three year period.