Seven indicted in scam

New scam prevention efforts announced for Ohio seniors; area student places 3rd in statewide contest
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Mar 5, 2014

 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine ha announced indictments in connection with an organized scam that targeted elderly victims in Ohio, along with new scam prevention efforts to protect Ohio seniors during National Consumer Protection Week.

A Ross County Grand Jury indicted Charles Kuhn Jr. and six others for ripping off seniors in a scam that promised a big return on money given up front. 

Kuhn and his associates impersonated lawyers, judges, and even DeWine, while stealing about $400,000 since 2011.

“It’s unbelievable the lies these scammers told, including impersonating me as part of their elaborate fraudulent scheme,” DeWine said. “To prey on the elderly is despicable. This is exactly why I created our Consumer Economic Crimes Unit – to investigate the worst scammers and hold them accountable. Just like in this case, we want to help local law enforcement anywhere our help is needed.”

Ross County Prosecutor Matthew Schmidt, Ross County Sheriff George Lavender, and Pickaway County Sheriff Robert B. Radcliff attended today’s news conference to help share the good news that this particular con will not continue.

“It’s great to have more resources to help try to put these con artists in prison,” said Ross Prosecutor Schmidt. “We all want the same thing: to stop elderly scams and all scams.”

“It’s sad to see these victims who have worked their whole life and then to lose their retirement, their security,” Pickaway County Sheriff Radcliff said. “We as law enforcement must continue working together for our victims, connecting the dots and bringing these individuals to justice.”

“These cases are complicated, but the hard work is worth putting a stop to the scams, so hopefully others won’t be victims,” said Ross County Sheriff Lavender.  

The six victims are from Ross, Pickaway, and Hocking counties. Some were told that Kuhn, 47, of Circleville, was expecting big money from a pending lawsuit, and by assisting him with legal fees, they would receive large interest on their investment. Others were told they were beneficiaries of an estate, and they stood to inherit millions after paying some fees.

Kuhn had his accomplices get cash or checks from the victims. Checks were cashed and proceeds were shared. Sometimes heroin, instead of cash, was the accepted payment for being part of the scam. 

Ross County Indictments:

Charles E. Kuhn Jr. , Circleville

    Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
    Theft from an Elderly Person
    Telecommunications Fraud
    Conspiracy
    Copy of indictment

Brad J. Davis, Circleville

    Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
    Theft from an Elderly Person
    Telecommunications Fraud
    Conspiracy
    Copy of indictment

Susan B. Dowland, Stoutsville

    Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
    Theft from an Elderly Person
    Telecommunications Fraud
    Conspiracy
    Copy of indictment

Kevin M. Dunn , Circleville

    Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
    Theft from an Elderly Person
    Telecommunications Fraud
    Conspiracy
    Copy of indictment

Mark A. Peoples, Circleville

    Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity 
    Theft from an Elderly Person
    Telecommunications Fraud
    Conspiracy
    Copy of indictment

Jennifer S. Pummell, Stoutsville

    Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
    Theft from an Elderly Person
    Telecommunications Fraud
    Conspiracy
    Copy of indictment

Curtis D. Smith , Derby

    Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
    Theft from an Elderly Person
    Telecommunications Fraud
    Conspiracy
    Copy of indictment

DeWine also announced two new programs to help prevent more victims of scams. 

A new consumer education program will educate junior high and high school students, as well as adults. It’s called CHIPP- Cybersecurity Help, Information, and Protection Program.  It covers security and privacy issues on a variety of electronic devices.

In addition, 40,000 senior citizens who receive meals like those from the Meals on Wheels program, will soon be getting a flyer from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office that warns them about scams. This partnership will put this important information in the hands of 40,000 seniors in every county in Ohio.

Finally, high school winners of the Attorney General’s “Take Action Video Contest” were awarded scholarships for their creative videos about scams and identity theft. These winners were selected from 247 entries this year.

1st Place Winners -- $2,500 scholarship
Students: Yijia Liang (11th grade) and Eric Dong (11th grade)

    School: Upper Arlington High School
    City: Columbus
    County: Franklin
    Watch Video Here

2nd Place Winners -- $1,500 scholarship
Students: Kelly Murphy (12th grade) and Nick Taylor (10th grade)

    School: Dublin Coffman High School  
    City: Dublin
    County: Franklin
    Watch Video Here

3rd Place Winner -- $1,000 scholarship
Student: Mitch Fogle (10th grade)

    School: Upper Sandusky High School
    City: Upper Sandusky
    County: Wyandot 
    Watch Video Here

Consumers who wish to report a scam or file a consumer complaint can contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515. 

Comments

rickross2

Interesting mix of articles