Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Amish on Amish Fraud Redux.

By Greg Wright
MBA, CFE, CFP®, CLU, ChFC
Certified Fraud Examiner
Certified Financial Planner™

Amish fraud victims adhere to long-standing traits unique to their tight-knit, turn-the-other-cheek world:  “Trust your brethren. Resist outside influences. Be forgiving.”

For Biblical reasons, I am told, the Amish will not sue anyone in a court of law. If they are wronged. They appear to live by the Proverbs, “It is better to suffer wrong than to commit wrong” and “A man is happier to be sometimes cheated than never to trust.”  

Fraudsters from the Amish community, who have cheated and brought financial ruin to many in their “Plain” community, can integrate back into their societies.  

John Sensenig, a horse-and-buggy Mennonite from Pennsylvania ran an investment scheme whose investors were drawn largely from the Amish and Mennonite communities.  He caused losses, ranging from $45 million to $65 million and settled with the SEC for $131,500, “about all he ha(d) left”, and agreed to take no part in future financial offerings. 

He was never the subject of a criminal case. Moreover, according to local sources, Sensenig remains in his community, working as a welder and attending church regularly.  

In the case of Earl Miller, that may not be the case. 

My column, “Amish on Amish Fraud” has received 15 written comments and is read by 50 to 100 new viewers every day. 

I’ve spoken to two non-Amish readers close to the community that wish to remain anonymous.  I would appreciate contact from others to learn why the Miller situation is different from other past Amish on Amish frauds?