Ohio man gets 6 1/2 years in $17M Amish fraud case

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio has sentenced a man to 6 1/2 years in prison for defrauding fellow Amish in 29 states out of nearly $17 million.

The sentencing Wednesday comes after 77-year-old Monroe L. Beachy earlier pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a scheme that the government says defrauded nearly 2,700 people and entities.

Beachy is a member of an Amish church about 60 miles south of Cleveland where he operated an investment business that filed for bankruptcy protection two years ago.

Investigators say Beachy promised to put the investor's money into safer securities but instead used it for higher risk investments.

It's uncommon for the Amish to take their disputes public. The judge rejected their attempt to settle the bankruptcy case involving Beachy's company out of court.

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