Owner of Sandusky company convicted of fraud

ERIE COUNTY, Oho (WTVG) - The owner of a Sandusky company has been convicted of multiple fraud charges. The investigation stems from the owner's involvement with Castalia Farms.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, a just convicted Scott C. Wagner, 53, of Perkins Township, of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and multiple counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, concealment of money laundering and of use of criminally derived property.

According to testimony during the case, the manager of Castalia Farms was a customer of Wagner's company, Construction Equipment & Supply (CES). The Sandusky businesses owner by Wagner rented and sold industrial machinery and commercial equipment.

Wagner was in charge of day-to-day operations and reportedly submitted false invoices to the manager of Castalia Farms. The Farm property was a hospitality facility owned by Owens-Illinois, Inc. and used by the company as a recreational facility since the 1930s. O-I closed the facility in 2012 and later sold it.

Those false invoices were then passed on to O-I for equipment rentals that never occurred, purchases of construction supplies and other goods that never occurred, purchases of construction supplies that were far in excess of what was actually delivered, and other fraudulent billings.

In one incident, O-I was reportedly billed more than $350,000 for 532 days of renting a piece of equipment used to grind trees and other vegetation, when in reality the grinder was not at Castalia Farms for nearly all the time it was billed to O-I as a rental, according to court documents.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gene Crawford and Adam Hollingsworth following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Erie County Sheriff's Office.