Update: M60 hurdler Hahn expects 2-year term after guilty plea

Bob Hahn displays hook 'em horns at 2014 North Carolina masters nationals.

Bob Hahn displays hook ’em horns at 2014 North Carolina masters nationals.

Bob Hahn, my longtime hurdler friend, once told his local paper that he’s two-dimensional. “I don’t hunt, fish, play golf — just insurance and track,” he said. Now I’m pained to say he has a third dimension: criminal fraudster. On Friday, I was shocked to learn that he had pleaded guilty in a case called 6:15-cr-00065-MHS-JDL All Defendants USA v. Hahn, filed the day before. He signed a plea agreement, which is sealed. But his admissions are public. (See the federal documents.) Bob, 64, was accused of taking $5.48 million from more than 90 people, telling them they’d get a 20 percent annual return. Federal documents say he paid out $4.07 million — with 31 realizing a net gain on their investment and 61 a net loss. His Ponzi scheme lasted eight years, ending in February 2015. The docs don’t say how he was caught. But he pleaded guilty to only two counts, meaning the feds had potentially dozens of other cases to cite. Alhtough the maximum prison term is 20 years, Bob told me in a phone call Sunday night, his lawyers expected a sentence of 22 to 25 months. A sentence date hasn’t been set. He ran at Jax nationals. Hope he can make comeback.

Bob signed his fate Oct. 30, but the news didn't come out until Friday.

Bob signed his fate Oct. 30, but the news didn’t come out until Friday.

Here’s the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release on Bob:

TYLER, Texas – A 64-year-old former insurance agent has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Robert B. Hahn, of Tyler, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with wire fraud and money laundering on Nov. 19, 2015 before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love.

According to information presented in court, from January 2007 to February 2015, Hahn devised and executed a scheme in which he claimed to represent a group of doctors, in Tyler, Texas, who were raising capital for debt retirement, construction of, or improvements to, health care facilities, and medical equipment purchases. Hahn led approximately 100 potential investors to believe this group of doctors would pay an annual interest rate of 20% on their loans or investments. Hahn then collected funds from these individuals and deposited them into his insurance business or personal checking accounts.

Hahn would periodically make “interest” payments, in cash, to said individuals, representing a 20% return on said fictitious loans or investments, utilizing funds he had derived from earlier investors. Upon request, Hahn would return principle loan or investment funds to said individuals in the form of a check drawn on his insurance or personal checking accounts, using funds he had received from other investors. Hahn admitted that in truth and in fact, there never was a group of doctors raising capital for debt retirement, construction of, or improvements to, health care facilities, and medical equipment purchases. Hahn admitted he simply made up this story to obtain and maintain funds for his personal use.

As a result of the scheme, Hahn collected approximately $5,479,600.00 from individual investors. In furtherance of the scheme, during the relevant time period, Hahn returned or distributed approximately $4,072,470.00, in proceeds from the fraud scheme to some of the individuals in the form of returned “principle” and “interest” or “earnings”.

Hahn faces up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tyler Office, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, the Texas State Securities Board, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.

Bob’s case was reported by The Associated Press, so the cat is out of the bag.

I’m trying to reach Bob to learn how he fell into this mess. I’m sorry for his victims, but also for him. How could this happen?

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November 21, 2015

9 Responses

  1. Bubba Sparks - November 21, 2015

    I have known Bob for years and I’m shocked to hear about this.

  2. xavier ibarreta - November 21, 2015

    Umm the 20% annual return should have tipped people off…

  3. wayne bennett - November 22, 2015

    I am very surprised by this. Always a very likeable guy and never tried to sell me anything. Guess we never know what “GREED” can do to a person. Like Bubba I am shocked.

  4. Bubba Sparks - November 22, 2015

    I wanted to say also that he never tried to sell me anything. I considered him, and still consider him a friend. I’m sorry for this deep lapse in judgement and he will pay for it. But my friendship is in tact if he wants or needs to reach out.

  5. Lindy Raney - November 22, 2015

    Shocked is the word of the day. Like Wayne and Bubba, all of us Texas tracksters have known Robert to be a fun guy to hang out with at track meets. I have been a friend of Robert for over 30 years. He was the ultimate salesman, always on the road with his insurance business. Wayne-you hit the nail on the head. Greed makes people want more and more until the jig is up. Robert-if you read these comments I just want to say you have been a great friend. I hope you can overcome this situation and make amends. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Al Cestero - November 22, 2015

    i hurdled against bob a few times and he always put a smile on my face…sorry to read of this, hope he’s able to make amends

  7. bob - November 28, 2015

    “Hahn admitted he simply made up this story to obtain and maintain funds for his personal use.”
    Disgusting individual who schemed to steal other people’s money for personal gain.

  8. mark williamson - November 29, 2015

    Not a moment of stress was it? I had my insurance nest egg stolen as well as investments sucked dry. They rig the system so they win even when everybody looses. He is just one of thousands who think its ok. It should be 5yrs bread and water at a minimum. Plus a loss of trading and investing rights, all monies traced to their outcome and liquidated to those who lost out. Last but not least forfit any Medicare …He needs to go buy his insurance in the marketplace under Obamacare and see how he likes it.

  9. office next door - August 1, 2018

    I had no idea about Robert. Used to work in an office next to his and admired his taste in furniture.

    Nobody’s going to hire a man with that background, he’s going to have a tough time supporting himself (not to mention attempting to pay back those elderly women who lost EVERYTHING)…..

    Prayers to the victims 🙁

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