Three Greater Cincinnati men get prison in $6.8 million scam through American Equity Group

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CINCINNATI - Three area men who ripped off more than $6.8 million from investors and sent homeowners into backruptcy have received prison sentences, the U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart said.

Adam P. Moellers, 35, of Mason, Ohio got 36 months in prison;  Gary P. Dailey, aka Gary Klump, 33, of Covington, Ky.,  was sentenced to 21 months, and Perry Bensick, 37, of Monroe, Ohio,  got a year and a day in prison. Each will be placed under court supervision for three years after their prison terms end.

The three engaged in a foreclosure rescue scheme through a company called American Equity Group (AEG).  AEG approached homeowners in financial distress with promises to find a buyer for their property who would let them stay there as renters until they were ready to buy it back.

AEG convinced others to become investors by promising them they could buy a property with no money down, collect rent for a year or two then sell it back to the renter for a profit.

AEG inflated the sale price, put together fraudulent loan applications, and took out extra cash at closing, the U.S. attorney says.  The renters never purchased the properties back and the investors couldn't afford to keep them.

"As a result, the properties went into foreclosure with even larger loan balances and with investors/borrowers who did not appreciate the risk that they had undertaken," Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Mangan said.

The FBI calculated that in 2006 and 2007, the scheme caused losses of $6,849,460 to lenders. The defendants will be ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined by the court.

 

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