For Release:   February 8, 2007
U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Northern District of Ohio
Gregory A. White
United States Attorney
Seth D. Uram
Assistant U.S. Attorney
(419) 259-6376

Gregory A. White, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, today announced that an Indictment was filed against Mark S. Haukedahl, age 60, of unknown address in the Dominican Republic, formally residing at 2838 Brynwick Dr., Maumee, OH.

The Indictment alleges that from July 1993 though March 2004, Haukedahl operated two Toledo-area organizations, the American Real Estate Association and the Noble Group, to defraud approximately 4,500 real estate agents and real estate appraisers throughout the United States out of $11.7 million.

The Indictment alleges Haukedahl and unnamed coconspirators falsely represented that if real estate agents and appraisers paid membership dues and fees to these organizations they would be covered by an Errors and Omissions insurance policy issued by the Midwest Insurance Company. The Indictment further alleges that Haukedahl created Midwest Insurance Company as a foreign shell corporation and that no Errors and Omissions insurance policy actually existed. The Indictment further alleges that defendant Haukedahl and his coconspirators used member dues and fees to pay small amounts on the claims made on the nonexistent Midwest Insurance Company Errors and Omissions policy, falsely represented these payments came from Midwest Insurance Company, then intentionally failed to pay the full amount of the members’ claims.

The Indictment also charges Haukedahl with promotion money laundering and international money laundering in connection with Haukedahl allegedly using proceeds of the alleged fraud scheme to keep the American Real Estate Association and Noble Group operating and in connection with allegedly transferring approximately $1,349,000 in fraud proceeds to the Bahamas.

The Indictment also charges Haukedahl with wilfully evading approximately $232,000 in federal income taxes for 2000, 2001, and 2002 by filing false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The investigating agencies in this case are the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Seth D. Uram, who may be reached at the above telephone number.

An Indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The burden of proof is always on the government to prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.