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Senior scam ringleader sentenced to 8 years in prison

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Apr 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ross County Prosecutor Matthew Schmidt announced that a Circleville man will spend the next eight years in prison for his role in an organized scam that targeted elderly Ohioans.

Charles Kuhn Jr., 47, pleaded guilty to charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft, telecommunications fraud, and conspiracy in Ross County Common Pleas Court on Friday afternoon. Kuhn was then immediately sentenced by Judge Scott Nusbaum to an eight-year prison term.

"Those who think that they can get away with ripping off Ohio's senior citizens should think again," DeWine said. "Our senior citizens deserve to be treated with respect, and those who scheme to take their hard-earned dollars will serve hard time."

Kuhn and six other accomplices were indicted in February on charges alleging that they operated a scheme that targeted at least six elderly victims from Ross, Pickaway and Hocking counties.  The group is accused of stealing approximately $400,000 since 2011 by convincing the victims to loan them money, with the promise of large returns on their investments.

Kuhn, who is considered the ringleader of the group, is the first of the seven suspects in the enterprise to plead guilty. 

DeWine created the Consumer Protection Section’s Economic Crimes Unit in 2011 to identify criminal conduct in consumer fraud cases and assist Ohio’s prosecuting attorneys in holding scammers criminally accountable. To date, 105 people have been charged with felonies and 66 have been convicted. 

The Economic Crimes Unit worked in cooperation with the Ross County and Pickaway County Sheriff’s Offices in this investigation.

If you suspect a scam or an unfair business practice, report it to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or (800) 282-0515.

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