According to an indictment, Brenda Ashcraft organized the scam that supposedly occurred between 2009 and 2013. As the owner and operator of French Manor Properties, Ashcraft told investors she was acting as the REIT trustee that would “secure residential and commercial real estate at wholesale pricing,” the indictment said.
Based on Ashcraft’s statements, the investors believed that their investments were secured by real estate and she promised them 40% annual returns.
Instead, the indictment alleges that Ashcraft diverted investor funds for her own personal use and benefits. For example, she evidently used a $50,000 investor payment to pay for Cincinnati Reds season tickets.
Furthermore, the defendant would also sometimes send investor checks for returns on their investments, but the checks often bounced, the Department of Justice stated.
If convicted, Ashcraft could face up to 20 years in prison for the wire and securities fraud charges as well as a maximum fine of $5 million.