CLEVELAND (CN) – A 77-year-old man defrauded fellow members of the Amish community of tens of millions of dollars, the SEC says. Monroe Beachy dba A&M Investments raised $33 million on phony pretenses, and lost more than $15 million of it in “speculative investments,” according to the federal complaint.
“From as early as 1986 through June 2010, Beachy, doing business as A&M Investments, raised at least $33 million from more than 2,600 investors through the offer and sale of investment contracts,” the complaint states. “The vast majority of Beachy’s investors were Amish. Beachy told the investors that their money would be used to purchase risk-free U.S. government securities, which would generate returns for the investors.
“In reality, Beachy used investor money to make speculative investments. Until he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in June 2010, Beachy never told his investors that he had lied about how he was investing their money. Beachy also never told his investors that he had experienced significant losses on the underlying investments. Beachy provided his investors with monthly account statements that showed fabricated gains.
“When Beachy filed for bankruptcy, less than $18 million remained from approximately $33 million of investor money.”
Beachy began his ill-advised scheme “as early as 1986,” the SEC says.
“Beachy offered and sold investment contracts by himself. Beachy maintained his own books and made all investment decisions on his own,” the complaint states.
“Beachy raised more than $33 million from at least 2,600 investors from 29 states, including Ohio.
“If investors asked, Beachy told them that their money was going to be used to purchase risk-free U.S. government securities, which would generate returns for the investors.
“Beachy enticed investors by promising interest rates greater than banks were offering at the time.”
The SEC seeks an injunction and penalties for securities fraud.