It seems that anyone who comes into contact with Richard Schwartz has a story to tell, especially if they were close to the “wealth manager.”
One such person, a former associate of Schwartz’s, claims that what the Perspective has reported over the past three weeks is accurate.
This associate has asked for anonymity due to the sensitive relationship that existed between them.
To the associate, Schwartz was more than a man. He was larger than life and lived in a comparable manner.
“He was the life of the party,” said the associate. “Everybody wanted to be around him and to be his friend. I always wondered how he got his money. It seems like overnight he became a millionaire and had the fancy cars and the big houses.
“It was if Rich was some god, and everybody followed him. He had the money and could entertain them. But he runs by the seat of his pants. As soon as he gets money, he spends it.”
The associate attributes this phenomenon to Schwartz’s style, his manner of speaking to a person, as well as the gifts, trips, and tickets he lavished upon his friends and clients. He attracted money, fame, and power in equal measure, and one only had to attend a party at one of Schwartz’s homes in Howard County or in Culver, Ind., to see the influence he commanded.
“I have been to the parties he used to hold,” said the associate. “There were celebrities there. Eric Dickerson. Jeff George. Peyton Manning and his father, Archie Manning. I have seen the cars and the houses. Everything these people said was true.
“I remember that for one of his children he had with Sigrid, they held a huge birthday party, and the Colts mascot was there. There were five or six Colts players there as well.
“There would be big parties at his home in Culver, and in the basement there would be huge poker games taking place. Lots of cash changed hands. (Business partner) Rick Bowser, (Schwartz Group employee) Tennis Guyer, and Rich were at the table; most of the people were friends, employees, or clients. There were boats and jetskis. He would bring the clients in and wine and dine them at the house.”
As slick as Schwartz was when entertaining, he was even more persuasive when a potential customer walked into the office. The associate recalled a specific instance where Schwartz conducted a business deal similar to those reported on by the Perspective.
“The stories these people have told about the checks being made out to Rich are true,” said the associate. “I saw it first-hand. An elderly couple came into the office, and he did his smooth talking. The people came out and decided to do some business with him.
“I heard him insist that the check be made out to him. They left, and I saw Rich go to his secretary and instruct her to immediately go to the bank and deposit it right away.
“About two hours later they came back because they had changed their mind. They had talked to a friend about it, and they wanted their money back. He smoothed it over with them.”