Monroe Beachy, a 77 year old Amish man, has been charged with mail fraud after allegedly defrauding people out of 16.8 million dollars over 20 years.
Today's grand jury indictment gets Beachy for sending false monthly and quarterly statements through US Mail to A & M Investors in northeastern Ohio and 28 other states. Beachy filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but is now trying to get it dismissed so that the Amish creditors and the Amish community could raise money to bail him out. The Amish community acknowledge Beachy did something wrong–and Beachy's scheme made the Amish look bad because it makes them look dishonest. The Amish prefer to handle disputes such as this on their own. ABC News reports further:
Daniel Miller, 55, of Sugarcreek, Ohio, was one of 2,600 creditors in 29 states, mostly from the Amish community, who invested money with Beachy.
"I think the Amish can do a lot better job for the creditors than what the government can do," Miller told ABC News in February. "Instead of the bankruptcy attorneys handling everything and dragging into the court system, they will take it and distribute it to the creditors involved. It makes more sense to me."
Beachy also filed a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy proceedings.
Miller said it is common for members of the Amish community to pool their money together, as they did with Beachy, and try to settle disputes among themselves. He said Beachy did not pocket the collected money, and instead lived a simple lifestyle, even with a horse and buggy.