Columbus Businessman Charged in Financial Fraud Scheme
COLUMBUS—A federal grand jury has charged David H. DeMathews, 62, of Columbus, with wire fraud, money laundering, engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity, mail fraud and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in a 39-count indictment unsealed today.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, announced the indictment returned March 3.
The indictment alleges that DeMathews used his positions as Director of National Accounts and Executive Vice President of American Escrow and Title Services, Inc. and President of DEMCO Advisory Corporation to execute a financial fraud scheme.
DeMathews allegedly told some victims he would invest their money in the construction of multi-million dollar buildings that were supposed to generate repayment to the investors. He allegedly promised some victims he would invest their money in Starbucks franchise opportunities in Central America, hospital projects in Panama and Nicaragua and a water treatment plant in Florida.
“None of the business ventures were ever consummated and no legitimate income was ever generated,” Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Kim told the court. “Rather than invest the money, DeMathews used it for personal use or to partially pay other investors.”
DeMathews received approximately $911,000 for the purpose of executing his scheme.
Wire fraud, money laundering and mail fraud are crimes punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from a specified unlawful activity and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carry a maximum sentence 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, and Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Kim, who is prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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