BULLETIN: 77-Year-Old Amish Man Now Faces Criminal Charge In Alleged ‘Massive’ Caper; Monroe L. Beachy Indicted For Mail Fraud; SEC Filed Civil Charges Earlier This Year

An Amish man has been indicted in Ohio in an alleged long-running scheme that devoured more than $16.8 million.

Victims of Monroe L. Beachy included fellow Amish and the Amish Helping Fund, according to court filings.

Beachy, 77, resides in Sugarcreek, Ohio. He was charged civilly by the SEC in February 2011. A criminal indictment charging Beachy with mail fraud was announced today by federal prosecutors in Cleveland.

“This is fraud on a massive scale,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. 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.”

Beachy operated a company known has A&M Investments, and customers believed their money was safe in conservative Ginnie Mae Bond Funds, prosecutors said.

There are at least 2,698 victims, according to the indictment.

A top FBI agent described the scheme as elaborate.

“Unfortunately, he violated[investors’] trust over and over again resulting in a combined loss of over $16 million,” said Stephen D. Anthony, special agent in charge of the Cleveland FBI office. “The FBI and its partners were committed to unraveling this elaborate scheme . . . and to work with those victims who were affected by this large-scale investment fraud.”

Beachy did not invest the money as promised, prosecutors said, noting that he had been gathering money for 20 years before the scheme collapsed last year.

The Amish Helping Fund helps members of the Amish community purchase land and buildings, among other things, prosecutors said.

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