• Man guilty of cheating investors could pay more in restoration

    By: Ken Lemon


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Jerry Helms, who pleaded guilty to cheating investors, realized he made a costly mistake by saying too much in court Friday.
    He could have gotten off without paying anything but now his victims can hold him accountable for more than $1 million.
    "The state came out winning more than it had," said Locke Bell, district attorney.
    Helms wanted his sentence shortened, claiming his attorney in 2013 didn't tell him that he had to serve 2 1/2 years in prison.
    The judge disagreed.
    "I am not seeing anything wrong," Judge Jesse Caldwell said.
    But because Helms claimed poor representation his attorney-client privilege was waived.
    "I now have all of the information the defendant gave his lawyer,” Bell said.
    That is the information Helms didn't share with investigators, including names of all the victims and how much the victims lost when they thought they were investing with him.
    That information is sealed from the public.
    In the original sentence, Helms victims would have had to hire an attorney, dig up evidence and file a civil suit to try to get their money back.
    The district attorney said Friday the victims will not have to file suit.
    He will use the new evidence to contact the victims and hold a restitution hearing in criminal court.
    “They can now come into court whenever I have my hearing and testify as to the damages," Bell said.
    Prosecutors believe that will be more than $1 million.
    Helms' new attorney had no comment on the hearing.

    Read more trending stories on wsoctv.com:

    Firefighters battle huge flames at Hickory restaurant

    Massive 4-alarm fire engulfs Charlotte warehouse

    Salisbury student accused of spitting on officer

    Major relieved of command after death of a Union Co. Marine

    Deer runs into hospital, corralled by employees

    Damp morning before threat for afternoon storms builds

    Next Up:

  • Headline Goes Here

    Man guilty of cheating investors could pay more in restoration

  • Headline Goes Here

    One in custody after FBI SWAT team raids west Charlotte home

  • Headline Goes Here

    ‘Corpse' flower about to bloom at UNC Charlotte

  • Headline Goes Here

    Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

  • Headline Goes Here

    1 injured in shooting at Florida high school