COOPERSVILLE BUSINESSMAN CONVICTED OF DEFRAUDING VICTIMS OF MORE THAN ONE MILLION DOLLARS
Roger Andrews Created Fake and Forged Documents and Promised Victims He Would Use Their Money for an Investment in Indiana; Instead, He Gambled It Away in the Stock Market
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Roger Lee Andrews, 54, of Coopersville, was convicted by a jury yesterday of wire fraud in connection with a bogus land deal in Indiana. Between 2006 and 2008, Andrews, who owned R. Andrews Pallet Company in Marne, Michigan, solicited more than one million dollars from long-time friends, business acquaintances, and a bank for use in connection with an investment property in Indiana. He told some of the victims that he already owned the property and needed additional capital to fund improvements to the property so he could sell it at a profit. Andrews told others he needed funds to purchase the property. To further his scheme to defraud, Andrews create fake documents with forged signatures to make it appear as though he owned the property and had a contract to sell the property to the State of Indiana for more than $900,000.
In truth, Andrews never owned any property in Indiana, was never even involved in any deals in Indiana, and later admitted forging the documents. Instead of using his victims’ money as promised, Andrews wired almost all of the funds to his stock trading account, where he lost it by engaging in risky margin trading.
“The truly sad part of this case is that Andrews preyed on long-time friends and business acquaintances. He used those relationships and his victims’ misplaced trust as a means to commit his scheme, and they have suffered tremendously as a result. Unfortunately, this type of fraud is all too common in our district, and we remain committed to prosecuting those who engage in it,” said U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles, Jr.
The Honorable Robert J. Jonker, U.S. District Judge, presided over the trial. After the jury returned its verdict, the Court immediately revoked Andrews’ bond and ordered him to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Office pending his sentencing.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher O’Connor and Clay Stiffler.