A federal grand jury indicted two men from Cattaraugus County on multiple charges of fraud for running a fraudulent debt restructuring business out of two offices in the Western New York area.
Sergiy Bezrukov, 33, and Mark Farnham, 24, both of the City of Salamanca, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering, following the jury's return of a 54-count superseding indictment.
According to the indictment, using false identities, Bezrukov and Farnham offered to help small businesses restructure their high interest loans. Once they gained access to their clients' accounts, however, the defendants withdrew money for their own purposes and disappeared, ignoring all attempts by the businesses' owners to contact them.
Trini Ross and Stephanie Lamarque, the assistant U.S. attorneys handling the case, said the defendants used the scheme to defraud about 200 people out of $1.2 million.
Farnham will be arraigned on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder; Bezrukov will be arraigned at a later date.