Des Moines, Iowa - Bruce Arthur Hauptman, age 67, formerly of Fairfield, Iowa, was recently sentenced by United States District Judge Stephanie M. Rose to 42 months in federal prison following a joint investigation by the Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Along with the prison sentence, Hauptman was ordered to serve three years of supervised release following imprisonment and ordered to pay a total of $2.158 million in restitution to multiple victims.
The sentence comes after Hauptman pled guilty to three counts of wire fraud in November 2019. The investigation into Hauptman’s actions began in 2016 by Fraud Bureau special investigators following a complaint made to the Iowa Insurance Division. During the investigation, it was discovered that Hauptman, a formerly licensed securities agent, had convinced multiple individuals within his social circle to invest money with him through promissory notes in businesses he owned with the promise of significant returns on their investment and equity in his companies. Over time, investors no longer received payments and Hauptman became unresponsive to requests to return money. The investigation discovered that money provided to Hauptman through these promissory notes was going towards funding personal living expenses, such as multiple mortgages, vehicles, and credit cards.
“This was a long case with many individuals from multiple agencies doing good work to make sure that justice was served. The Iowa Insurance Division is here to help protect Iowans against fraudsters like Mr. Hauptman,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said. “It’s important for Iowans to double-check before they invest and understand what is being purchased, not just relying on any advice provided by unregistered or unlicensed individuals. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.”
Prior to this criminal conviction, the Iowa Insurance Division’s Enforcement Bureau filed administrative charges in 2018 against Hauptman for violations of Iowa’s securities laws. Hauptman was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $235,000 for failing to pay $138,000 in restitution to Iowans to resolve claims of selling unregistered securities, selling securities as an unregistered agent, using dishonest or unethical practices in the securities business, and omission of material facts. The Iowa Insurance Division ordered Hauptman to cease and desist from offering or selling unregistered securities in Iowa and permanently barred Hauptman from applying for registration as a securities agent, investment adviser, or as an investment adviser representative in Iowa.
In June 2018, Hauptman also received an order and civil fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Iowans with information about insurance or investment fraud are encouraged to contact the Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau at 515-242-5304.