The former host of a radio show called “Safe Money Radio,” which was broadcast on several southern Minnesota radio stations, is being accused of defrauding investors out of roughly $2 million.
An indictment filed this week in Minnesota’s U.S. District Court alleges that, from 2010 through at least late 2012, Minnesota resident Jeffrey Rodd fraudulently solicited money from potential investors by promising that he would use the money to buy and resell discounted annuities, typically ones issued by third-party insurance companies. He ran a business called Redwood Valley Interests, LLC, and allegedly touted low-risk investment products and services, using his radio show to market and sell the products.
In reality, however, he used the investments to buy advertising for his own business, pay personal expenses, and “make Ponzi-type payments to other investors,” the indictment states.
In total, Rodd raised at least $1.9 million from investors and caused investors to lose at least $700,000, according to the indictment. He allegedly promised a high rate of return of up to 60 percent within six months and lied to investors when approached about the status of their investments.
The indictment charges Rodd with four counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud. The public defender currently representing Rodd on Thursday declined to comment on the allegations. The Star Tribune said it left telephone messages with Rodd seeking his reaction to the charges.
Earlier this year, the Minnesota Department of Commerce ordered Rodd and Redwood Valley Interests to stop selling securities in the state. The Commerce Department said its investigation found that four southwestern Minnesota residents who were solicited by Rodd were senior citizens, one of whom had been suffering from dementia at the time of investment. The agency fined Rodd $300,000.
The Commerce Department also said that Rodd is a former police officer, but he has “a history of noncompliance with the law” that began in 2001, when he initially entered into a consent order with the department involving the sale of unregistered securities.