Amish man indicted for operating investment scheme

(WOIO) - A 77-year-old Amish man accused of defrauding his fellow Amish of millions of dollars.

Monroe Beachy of Sugarcreek, Ohio was indicted today on mail fraud.  He ran his own investment company, A & M Investments.

Beachy is accused of operating an investment scheme that defrauded nearly 2,700 people in 29 states of more than $16 million, including the Amish Helping Fund.

"This is fraud on a massive scale," said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. "This defendant took advantage of people's trust in him and squandered the life savings of hundreds upon hundreds of families."

Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cleveland office, said: "Thousands of investors entrusted their life savings to the integrity of Mr. Beachy's investment business. Unfortunately, he violated this trust over and over again resulting in a combined loss of over $16 million. The FBI and its partners were committed to unraveling this elaborate scheme, which is outlined in the indictment, and to work with those victims who were affected by this large-scale investment fraud."

Beginning in or about 1990 and continuing through in or about June, 2010, Beachy represented to investors that money deposited with his investment company, A&M Investments, would be safe and would secure a positive rate of return.

He specifically represented to investors that A&M would invest in Ginnie Mae Bond Funds, a type of mortgage-backed security issued by the Government National Mortgage Association and guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, according to the indictment.

Beachy did not invest the money as represented and as such approximately 2,698 people and entities were defrauded with a combined loss in excess of approximately $16.8 million.

Among the investors that lost money was the Amish Helping Fund, which was established to assist members of the Amish community with the purchase of land and buildings, among other things, according to the indictment.

The indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the United States Postal Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case was presented for indictment by Assistant United States Attorney Linda H. Barr.

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