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Press Release

Holland, Ohio, Man Indicted For $500,000 Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A criminal indictment was returned this week charging Mark O. Wittenmyer, age 54, of Holland, Ohio, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and five counts of money laundering, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. 

The indictment alleges that Wittenmyer fraudulently obtained a $500,000 consultant’s fee by representing that he could deliver several interest-only government bonds to a group of investors. 

Wittenmyer also falsely alleged that he could recruit institutional buyers for the bonds that would pay the group of investors a substantial premium at the conclusion of the transaction.  The investor group was falsely advised by Wittenmyer that he had successfully delivered the bonds, and therefore Wittenmyer was entitled to a $1 million consultant’s fee, according to the indictment.

When a representative of the investor group learned that the bonds had not been delivered, Wittenmyer threatened to file a lien against the bonds to prevent their sale.  The investor group then paid $500,000, in a wire transfer on November 8, 2013, to induce Wittenmyer not to file a lien.  Wittenmyer directed the funds to an account at PNC Bank that was controlled by an associate, and from that account, Wittenmyer and his associate spent the funds, according to the indictmet.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James V. Moroney and Gene Crawford.

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.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 12, 2015