Amish fund manager sentenced to 6 years

The news came yesterday that Monroe Beachy, Ohio Amishman and investment fund manager, received a 6-and-a-half year sentence for fraud.

Investors in Beachy’s popular fund lost around $17 million, around half of its total value. U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach described it as “fraud on a massive scale.” Beachy, 78, requested to serve his sentence at home, but this was rejected, and he will be going to prison.  He could have received a maximum of 20 years.

Moving on

To use popular terminology, I suppose this brings some sort of “closure” to the matter.  We often use that word when a wrongdoer gets a justly-deserved punishment.  Victims seek closure as a necessary component in moving forward with life.

However being that this primarily involves Amish, I don’t  know that that is the right word to use.  The Amish community wished to handle the matter themselves.

Perhaps they would have, had Beachy not first filed a bankruptcy claim which later proved impossible to retract.   An Amish committee made a special request that they be allowed to deal with recompense themselves, but that was rejected.

That request shone a light on the sometimes controversial Amish preference for handling transgressions internally.  There can be a blurry line between what is a church issue and what is a criminal issue.

But the sheer size and impact of this case, and the fact that some English investors were involved as well, probably precluded a private Amish sorting-out from ever happening.

Though a lot of people lost a lot of money in his fund, I’d think this is something that Amish could forgive.  I’d imagine many if not most already have.  That of course doesn’t automatically erase the damage done. Hopefully the community will emerge stronger from this situation in the long term.

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    9 Comments

    1. Lattice

      In this situation, the Amish might somehow see another lesson teaching the negative consequences of dealings with the English.

    2. John

      Lattice this guy was Amish not “English”, he just got into taking risks that the people didn’t know about and when the world.com and emron.com to a dump, he lost tremendous amounts of money. He kept hiding it and thinking he could bail out and recoup the losses and then came 2008 and the economy took a nose dive and he sent with it. Rightfully so that he is used as an example, unfortunately he will be old when released.

      It is still not as bad as: http://athiefinthechurch.com/ Which money was taken through out the plain communities across the US. If Beachey got 6 years Sensenig will get a lot more.

      John

    3. Lattice

      Ok, well I don’t understand much about investments and such, so I must have misunderstood, but I thought Mr. Beachy had both Amish and English investors, and might not have gotten into so much trouble if he’d only had Amish investors.

      That’s why it’s best not to comment on things I know nothing about!!

    4. Lattice

      And yes, I had understood initially that Mr. Beachy was Amish. Even though Erik said it, “Beachy” is a complete giveaway.

    5. Mary Miller

      Amish

      Lattice, Mr Beachy is indeed, Amish. Not Beachy Amish.

      1. Lattice

        Yes, I know. I meant that “Beachy” is an Amish name, not that Mr. Beachy was Beachy Amish. I better just stop before I’m misunderstood yet again.

        1. Mary Miller

          Sorry for not understanding! I grew at a Beachy Amish church, and, my name was Beachy!

    6. Sara Mandal-Joy

      I'm puzzled

      I thought there was a big restriction against such speculative transactions? Apparently some of the Amish groups are less restrictive in this area? Sara

    7. Osiah Horst

      Amish Fund Manager

      I would think you are right about the speculative transactions. But once we start down a certain road, lines become blurry. If buying conservative mutual funds is ok, then buying higher risk items becomes okay, then another few steps and we are buying and selling on our own. A few more steps and we are Mr. Beachy, then Enron and 2008 come along and a few more steps ends with a prison term.