A Stark County financial adviser gets 20 years in prison, maintains innocence.

CANTON  Moments before he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, former Stark County financial adviser Kimm Hannan calmly proclaimed his innocence.

The 67-year-old Jackson Township man on Tuesday blamed his attorney before turning toward two of his nine investment fraud victims, expressing that he "can't begin to understand the depth and breadth of your loss that you feel and the anger that you feel."

He told the married couple they could expect to receive "a check."

Asking a sheriff's deputy to move aside so he could more directly look at family members, Hannan confidently said evidence not introduced at trial would be presented on appeal in an effort to be vindicated.

"Guys," he told his ex-wife and daughter, "this isn't over yet. And I know it looks really grave, but I'm going to tell you right now God is in this, and you'll see, as the months unfold here. I love you all very much and my relationship with God continues to grow..."

Hannan's comments were wide-ranging, including suggesting how the Stark County Jail's library could better serve inmates. But the man who once operated an investment office in downtown Canton shirked responsibility for what a Stark County Common Pleas Court jury found him guilty of last week.

Hannan, who didn't testify at his trial, said, "Nobody's heard my side of the story yet. ... So I feel like ... I've been found guilty of something that we have a whole list of defensive things against but they've never come out, and my hope is on appeal they will."

When added together, Stark County Assistant Prosecutor Joe Vance told the court, Hannan's 53 counts of theft and securities-related fraud could bring more than 300 years in prison.

Judge Chryssa Hartnett bristled at Hannan's denials before sentencing him, and with many of the individual terms running at the same time, the judge settled on 20 years.

"This was calculated, this was part of a plan," Hartnett said. "And I ... believe that you believed and that you thought that on some level you were going to make this good and you always felt like that next thing was going to be the thing that was going to turn it around. But that's not an excuse from somebody in your position. I think it's your narcissistic beliefs in yourself quite frankly ... what I refer to as the gambling mentality, that you don't look at $1,000 as $1,000, you look at $1,000 as $10,000 just waiting to be made."

Hannan had previously turned down a plea offer of 10 years in prison. Vance had sought 25 years at Tuesday's hearing.

Gambling and debt

Hannan took more than $1.6 million between 2014 and 2017 before the Ohio Division of Securities received a tip he was operating a Ponzi scheme, paying old investors with money from new clients.

Hannan illegally directed investor payments into his own bank accounts, according to financial records introduced at trial. Investor dollars were wrongly spent on credit card debt, business-related debt, personal expenses, spousal support and gambling at casinos, according to testimony.

During her impassioned remarks aimed at Hannan, the judge defended the work of attorney Kenneth Frame of the Stark County Public Defender's Office.

And she empathized with the victims, ordering roughly $1.6 million in restitution, including $805,000 for one married couple. She conceded the victims — who hail from Canal Fulton and Massillon as well as outside Stark County — will likely never get any funds back.

"That's what it was, Mr. Hannan," the judge said. "You won't accept it but it was crime."

'Justice has been served'

Vance said during the trial that Hannan blatantly failed in his legal obligation to fully disclose financial problems associated with his dry-cleaning businesses and later a proposed dog daycare business in Stark County. Those actions violated Ohio securities laws, he said.

Incriminating evidence included Hannan’s recorded interview with investigators from the Ohio Division of Securities in which he admitted spending investor funds on personal expenses.

Two of the nine victims attended the sentencing hearing. Some had far distances to travel and couldn't be present, said Vance.

"Justice has been served," victim, Buddy Scott of Lorain County, said afterward.

Hannan repeatedly solicited state investigators and court officials about pouring money into his latest idea for a business-related investment as a way to repay investors and make things right.

Hartnett fumed at those attempts.

"I'm going to tell you, Mr. Hannan, you need to stop soliciting people and stop trying to figure out that next big thing that is never going to happen."

Reach Ed at 330-580-8315 and ed.balint@cantonrep.com

On Twitter @ebalintREP