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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 1, 2019

Pella Man Accused of Defrauding Investors

Mark Alan Blankespoor is accused of orchestrating multi-million dollar Ponzi-like scheme

DES MOINES, IA – On March 26, 2019, Mark Alan Blankespoor, of Pella, Iowa, was charged with twelve counts of mail fraud and twelve counts of wire fraud announced United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum.

According to the Indictment, Blankespoor was a health coach and consultant in Pella. He represented to others he was involved in developing medically-oriented gyms and licensed the program to fitness clinics across the United States. From at least May 2013 and continuing through at least January 2019, Blankespoor represented to investors they had an opportunity to make money by investing in the medically-oriented gym concept. At least 150 investors provided Blankespoor with approximately $15 million in investment funds. The indictment alleges Blankespoor used the investors’ money for unauthorized purposes that were not for the benefit of the affected investors. Blankespoor used the investor money, unbeknownst to them, for his personal expenses and paying other investors, for losses to victims of over $6.5 million.

Blankespoor has a trial date of June 3, 2019, before United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger at the Des Moines Federal Courthouse. Mail and wire fraud are punishable by a maximum prison term of twenty years and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The public is reminded that an indictment is only an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this matter. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Contact: 
Rachel J. Scherle 515-473-9300 USAIAS-PAO@usdoj.gov
Updated April 1, 2019