Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio is interviewed by The Associated Press in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
BRYAN — The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Securities and state Attorney General Mike DeWine said Tuesday that they jointly have filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order against three people from Williams County and their religious charity who are accused of violating the state’s charitable and securities laws.
In a complaint filed in Williams County Common Pleas Court, state officials allege that Nancy Jo Frazer and David Frazer, both of Bryan, and Albert Rosebrock of Sherwood, used their charity, Defining Vision Ministries, formerly Focus Up Ministries Inc., to involve state residents in an international pyramid scheme that “defrauded Ohioans and others out of millions of dollars,” according to a statement issued by Mr. DeWine’s office.
The three are accused of bringing the pyramid scheme, Profitable Sunrise, to Ohio “by promising outrageous returns and telling investors that their donations and investments would help charities,” the statement said.
Profitable Sunrise was recently shut down by federal and international authorities. It claimed to be a Christian company that would use investment proceeds to help charities and provide investors with large returns. According to the state’s complaint, the Frazers and Mr. Rosebrock used Focus Up Ministries’ status as a charity to seek donations and investments into Profitable Sunrise. They claimed invested funds would compound at 1.6 to 2.7 percent daily, growing at annual rates of 5,000 percent to more than 75,000 percent.
The complaint contains counts of misrepresentation, deceptive acts and practices, conversion, falsification, securities fraud, and unlicensed sale of securities, among other violations. It alleges that the defendants used funds donated to Focus Up Ministries for personal expenses and other unlawful purposes, including compensation for agents who solicited on behalf of Profitable Sunrise.
A hearing for a preliminary injunction is set for July 22 at 10 a.m. in Williams County Common Pleas Court.