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Amherst man pleads guilty to bank theft

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Steven Blumhagen, 67, of Amherst, NY, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to bank theft. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison. The defendant must also pay restitution totaling $1,275,500 to 19 victims.

Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse and Elizabeth Moellering, who are handling the case, stated that on June 13, 2003, the defendant stole money from JP Morgan Chase Bank. Blumhagen caused an individual identified as R.K. to wire transfer $1,000 to an account controlled by the defendant at JP Morgan Chase. Blumhagen falsely represented to R.K. that the funds would be used to pay “advance fees” in connection with a purported bond offering that would allegedly generate large sums of money for R.K. and others. Subsequently, the defendant withdrew the funds from the JP Morgan Chase account, and used them to pay personal expenses rather than to pay fees associated with the alleged bond offering.

In 2006, the defendant was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and sentenced to serve 57 months in federal prison, for his role in defrauding investors in Tee-to-Green Golf Parks, Inc. (Tee-to-Green), out of approximately $2,500,000. Blumhagen was the president of Tee to Green from 1993 through 2000. As president, he controlled the day to day operations and was intimately involved in the sale of Tee-to-Green promissory notes. Tee-to-Green marketed those notes to numerous investors falsely representing that the notes were bonded and insured, when in fact they were not.

The conduct which is the subject of the bank theft plea occurred after Blumhagen’s fraud relating to the Tee-to-Green promissory notes.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 12, 2018, before Judge Skretny.