February 21, 2024

Columbus man sentenced to three years in prison, ordered to repay money received through unclaimed funds fraud scheme

Columbus man sentenced to three years in prison, ordered to repay money received through unclaimed funds fraud scheme

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Marcus C. Beatty, 55, of Columbus, has been sentenced to three years in federal prison and repay $486,408.55 in unclaimed funds he stole from the State of Ohio, who was holding the funds in trust for the rightful owners.

Court documents outline the significant fraud scheme Beatty ran from at least June 2011 through at least March 2018 to steal from the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Unclaimed Funds. In Ohio, as in many other states, when funds held by a financial institution are inactive for a certain length of time, the funds legally become “unclaimed funds” and are turned over to the state. The Division of Unclaimed Funds returns the money to the rightful owners who claim them.

For nearly eight years, Beatty repeatedly filed fraudulent claims for unclaimed funds through an intricate process of identifying Ohio businesses whose registrations had been cancelled, using fraudulent paperwork to reinstate the businesses with the Ohio Secretary of State, changing the names of these companies to the names of companies for which the Division of Unclaimed Funds held money in trust, then filing then fraudulent claims with the Division to obtain the unclaimed funds.

Beatty fraudulently obtained unclaimed funds held in trust for five Ohio companies. He also filed several false claims with the unclaimed-funds agencies in Alabama, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Beatty pleaded guilty in October 2022 to one count of mail fraud. In 2006, Beatty had been sentenced in federal court to 33 months in prison in a separate fraud scheme.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Sherry Maxfield, Director of the Ohio Department of Commerce announced the sentence imposed February 22, 2023 by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson. Assistant United States Attorney Peter Glenn-Applegate is representing the United States in this case.

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Originally published at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/cincinnati/news/columbus-man-sentenced-to-three-years-in-prison-ordered-to-repay-money-received-through-unclaimed-funds-fraud-scheme