Nebraska Sheriff’s Deputy Charged in $11M Ponzi Scheme

Craig Harbaugh, a former sheriff’s deputy, filed a responsible plea in Nebraska federal court docket this week after being charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of in loans and investments for a supposed firearms firm he created referred to as Tactical Options Gear LLC, reports the Washington Post. Earlier than his October 2019 arrest, Harbaugh had spent greater than twenty years with the sheriff’s workplace, together with as a coach and investigator. His plan had been for Tactical Options Gear, which he arrange in 2008 and licensed as a federal firearms supplier, to contract with authorities and business entities for purchases of weapons, ammunition and different tools.

Starting in 2014, Harbaugh used images and phony paperwork to dupe Nice Western Financial institution and personal traders, in response to authorities.  Not one of the 12 regulation enforcement companies he claimed as purchasers to draw traders had been truly doing enterprise with him. An worker at Nice Western Financial institution, which prolonged loans totaling greater than $6 million, finally checked with a number of companies and discovered they didn’t have any agreements with Harbaugh. Whereas promising a return on funding, he merely took what he earned from one investor to repay one other in a traditional instance of a Ponzi scheme. He assured annoyed traders, who gave between $40,00zero and $four.6 million, that he’d have their cash. A few of his victims claimed that his job as a police deputy lended him an air of credibility. Beneath the phrases of a deal accepted in court docket Monday, Harbaugh pled responsible to at least one depend of wire fraud. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss 12 different expenses and to not pursue Harbaugh for fraud, tax and cash laundering crimes uncovered through the discovery course of. He faces as much as 20 years in jail at his Could sentencing.