Jury convicts owner of Sandusky company for fraud related to Castalia Farms
The owner of a Sandusky company was convicted on multiple counts for his fraudulent conduct related to Castalia Farms, said Acting U.S. Attorney David Sierleja and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.
Scott C. Wagner, 53, of Perkins Township, was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and multiple counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, concealment of money laundering and of use of criminally derived property.
According to trial testimony and documents filed in the case:
Castalia Farms was a hospitality facility owned by Owens-Illinois, Inc. and used by the company as a recreational facility since the 1930s. O-I closed the facility in 2012 and later sold the property.
The manager of Castalia Farms had an occasional need for industrial equipment and was a regular customer of Wagner and his company, Construction Equipment & Supply (CES), a Sandusky business that rented and sold industrial machinery and equipment for commercial use.
Wagner controlled the day-to-day operations of CES and submitted false invoices to manager Michael Conrad that were then passed on to O-I for equipment rentals that never occurred, purchases of construction supplies and other goods that never occurred, purchases of construction supplies that were far in excess of what was actually delivered, and other fraudulent billings.
For example, O-I was billed more than $350,000 for 532 days of renting a piece of equipment used to grind trees and other vegetation, when in reality the grinder was not at Castalia Farms for nearly all the time it was billed to O-I as a rental, according to court documents.
In October 2010, Conrad submitted to O-I a fraudulent invoice for $47,925 worth of landscaping work, purportedly done at Castalia Farms. The work was actually done at Wagner’s personal residence. O-I paid the invoice in December 2010, according to court documents.
In a different scheme, Kyklos Bearing International, LLC of Sandusky, paid false invoices Wagner submitted with the assistance of a Kyklos Bearing International employee. The invoices were false because they sought payment for goods that were never delivered by CES, according to court documents.
Conrad previously pleaded guilty to crimes related to his role in the conspiracy.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gene Crawford and Adam Hollingsworth following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.