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Published: Thursday, 7/12/2012

Genoa man accused of Ponzi scheme in Walbridge

A former Walbridge man has been charged in federal court with wire fraud and money laundering for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of more than $2 million.

An indictment handed up Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Toledo accuses Terrance Osberger, 48, of offering online investment packages with extremely high returns and misusing funds obtained in the scheme to pay for personal living expenses and buy a home and cars.

According to the indictment, one of the Web site investment plans promised in excess of "1,100 percent" interest over six months, and investors were enticed with interest rates ranging from 1.1 percent to 3.6 percent compounded daily.

Mr. Osberger of Genoa is charged with one count of wire fraud and 48 counts of money laundering. The indictment says he managed the investment Web sites from his former home in Walbridge, misused investor money to fund offshore bank accounts, and withdrew $2,001,369 from three local banks between December, 2008, and June, 2009.

The indictment also alleges that Mr. Osberger kept the fraudulent investment scheme going by using new investors' money to pay earnings to earlier investors, a practice that is commonly referred to as a Ponzi scheme.

The indictment includes a forfeiture allegation that would require Mr. Osberger to turn over real estate and personal property obtained in the alleged scheme to the government.

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