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Three Toledo area men pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges that allege they were involved in a multi-million dollar scheme involving the sale of Iraqi currency.
Bradford L. Huebner, 65, of Ottawa Hills, Charles N. Emmenecker, 65, of Sylvania, and Michael L. Teadt, 66, of Maumee, appeared for arraignment before Magistrate Judge James Knepp II. All three men entered not guilty pleas through their attorneys.
The 83-count indictment issued Thursday also named Rudolph M. Coenen, 47, of Jacksonville, Fla. Mr. Coenen was not in court.
According to court documents, the men were charged for alleged involvement in the operation of a $24 million fraud scheme involving the sale of Iraqi dinar currency and two non-existent hedge funds. Each faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. Mr. Huebner and Mr. Coenen are also charged with multiple counts of money laundering, and Mr. Huebner is charged with multiple counts of structuring and willful failure to file currency and transaction reports.
Steven Dettelbach, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said that the defendants’ conduct resulted in a loss to investors of nearly $23.8 million from dinar sales and more than $700,000 from the sale of non-existent hedges funds.
“These defendants made false statements time and again to convince people to part with their savings and hard-earned cash,” Mr. Dettelbach said in a release. “The fact that one defendant falsely claimed he was wounded while fighting in Iraq is particularly egregious.”
According to the indictment, the four men began in August, 2010, a conspiracy to operate “BH Group” in Toledo and “Bayshore Capital Investments” in Jacksonville in order to defraud investors through investments in the Iraqi dinar currency and two non-existent hedge funds. The conspirators promoted the dinar and non-existent hedge funds through the dissemination of a series of material falsehoods conveyed primarily through weekly interstate conference calls and through the conspirators’ Web site, according to the indictment.
Attorney Richard Kerger, who represents Mr. Huebner, said today that his client’s business was “entirely lawful.” Saying that Mr. Huebner was a longtime businessman in the area, Mr. Kerger said any noncompliance with federal regulations was “unintentional.”
“I think it’s an unfortunate prosecution,” he said. “…I think at the end of the day, the charges will be found to be not substantiated.”
Mr. Emmenecker and Mr. Teadt were both granted release on a $250,000 signature bond, and ordered to surrender their passports and not travel outside the boundries of the court's jurisdiction without prior approval.
A detention hearing for Mr. Huebner was set for 10:30 a.m. Friday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Wilson said the prosecution believes he is a flight risk.