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Thursday, October 02, 2014
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Published: Friday, 8/8/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

Winery owner accused of 5 federal charges

BLADE STAFF

SANDUSKY — A Sandusky winery owner was indicted on five federal charges stemming from, in part, the nonpayment of loans used to fund the winery, officials said.

David Kraus, 52, of New York City is charged with conversion of property pledged as collateral with a farm credit agency and making numerous false statements, including on a loan application to a federally insured bank. The charges were filed in U.S. District Court, Toledo.

Mr. Kraus owned Kraus Winery Inc., also known as Kraus Vineyard, Hermes Winery, and Sand Hill Winery.

Officials allege that, between January, 2006, and November, 2012, Mr. Kraus sold and directed sales of about $2 million of grapes and wine. The funds had been pledged as collateral for loans totaling $594,870.

Officials also allege that Mr. Kraus told U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency officials that he received only “a few small checks” for grape sales and had no wine sales in 2009. That year grape sales totaled about $60,000, and wine sales totaled $271,380.



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