It seems you don’t need electricity to commit fraud. A man has been likened to being “The Amish Bernie Madoff” after he was accused of operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded over 2,700 Amish families, nonprofits and businesses out of $16.8 million.
The man raised $33 million from the investors and lost over half of it. He used cash put in by new investors to pay the old ones. He promised sizable returns and invested in riskier instruments like stocks, corporate bonds and mutual funds. He then disguised his fund’s failing performance by mailing his investors fraudulent statements that showed their investments as rising.
Mailing those statements is what did him in. The man was indicted on one count of mail fraud. If convicted, he could serve up to 20 years.
Some of the defrauded investors included widows, a school cookbook fund, and a Mennonite church.