CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – An owner of a shuttered creamery faces federal charges for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that tricked members of his own religious community to support the business.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Philip Elvin Riehl’s suspected $60 million scheme “targeted members of the Mennonite and Amish communities in Pennsylvania and elsewhere and is one of the largest Pennsylvania-based alleged Ponzi schemes in history.”
Riehl, an accountant from Berks County, Pennsylvania, is accused of fraudulently soliciting tens of millions of dollars into a bogus investment program, then diverting those funds to Trickling Springs Creamery, LLC, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He also allegedly solicited investments that went directly to Trickling Springs.
Riehl misrepresented the safety and security of the investments, and made misrepresentations and omissions about the creamery’s business and financial condition, according to the DOJ.
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Source: USA Today