7 On Your Side: East Texans Among Victims Of $27 M Dollar Scam - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/10/06-Tyler

7 On Your Side: East Texans Among Victims Of $27 M Dollar Scam

66-year-old Jules Fleder is the mastermind behind this scheme, getting East Texas businessman Jack Brown and a third man, Roger Sherman, to find investors in the deal.

"He came to our house, sat at our breakfast room table, looked us right in the eye and told us what a great deal it was," says Herb Tennant who invested $350,000.

Tennant, of Tyler, is among as many as 75 local victims who addressed the three con men before they were sentenced in federal court Monday.

"They didn't mind looking at me then to get my confidence. And when they were looking down at the floor (during the victim impact statements) that made me so mad," says Tennant.

It was land in the City of Lindale where these victims were told their money would be invested in. They were told they would get a cut of the profits once the land was built up.

That plan never came into fruition and victims would soon learn they were conned into using to invest in this bogus scheme they would never see again.

These men not only scammed East Texans, but a total of 250 victims in 10 other states.

Carlene Walker flew in from Colorado for the sentencing. The numbers her family invested are staggering.

"We found out my parents invested $513,000 and I believe my brother invested $140,000," says Walker.

She adds, "They had $3,000 left in their savings after Jack (Brown) took their money."

Walker says her brother later committed suicide over this.

As victims try to overcome their losses many tears have been shed. But none have fallen Fleder and the two other men who Tennant calls scum.

"That was the cleanest word I could come up with," says Tennant.

Walker adds, "I hope they go to hell."

As part of a plea agreement, Jules Fleder was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay more than 27 million dollars in restitution.

Roger Sherman is jointly responsible for the same fine, along with a 3 1/2 year prison sentence.

Local businessman Jack Brown was sentenced to five years. His restitution was 8.2 million.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

 

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