POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS)-A Town & Country man is accused in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme involving fake real estate transactions of property in or around Poplar Bluff.
Ronald L. Roberts, 53, of Town & Country was indicted by a federal grand jury on three felony counts of wire fraud and one felony count of mail fraud.
He is accused of soliciting personal loans for a fake real estate transaction involving property in or around Poplar Bluff where he claimed he would receive between $7 million and $22 million in proceeds after the property was sold to Wal-Mart.
According to the indictment, there was no such real estate transaction pending and the property in question was worth substantially less than Roberts represented. The funds provided by lenders were instead diverted to Roberts's personal use that included gambling at the River City Casino. The indictment alleges that Roberts caused more than $2.5 million in losses as a result of the fraud.
The indictment was returned December 11, but remained sealed until Roberts turned himself in to authorities on Dec. 17.
If convicted, each count of mail and wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is investigating. Assistant United States Attorney Richard E. Finneran is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
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