Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 6, 2013

Charges stand against theft suspect

Georgia man accused in million dollar theft case.

Johann Schmidt, the Deluth, Ga., businessman found guilty of stealing from First Farmers Bank, might have thought he’d resolved all of his legal jeopardy in Indiana.

But this week, the Indiana Court of Appeals allowed two additional felony theft charges to stand against Schmidt, who’d already pleaded guilty to one charge in Miami County.

Schmidt’s legal troubles stem from a business arrangement between Schmidt, the owner of a concrete crushing firm called Crushtek, and Mark Bowyer, owner of Bowyer Excavating and other ventures.

According to police affidavits filed against Schmidt in 2009, Bowyer borrowed several hundred thousand dollars to fund a joint venture between Crushtek and Bowyer Excavating, which Schmidt was to use to purchase crushing equipment.

In exchange, Schmidt promised Bowyer a 100 percent return on his investment, which included discounted purchases of crushers for resale and the exclusive right to sell Schmidt machines in various states.

Court records indicate that in 2004, First Farmers State Bank initially loaned Schmidt $790,000. Over the next few years, Bowyer paid Schmidt about $2 million, with some funds paid as an advance on Crushtek expenses, and some funds used to purchase crushing machines for resale.

At some point, Bowyer alleged, Schmidt failed to deliver machines as promised.

On one occasion, Schmidt sold a Bowyer-owned crusher to a Kentucky business, but never paid Bowyer.

On another occasion, Bowyer sent employees to Spain to retrieve two crushers, only for the employees to find one of the crushers damaged at a Spanish job site.

In a strange twist, one of the employees told police that Schmidt’s sister, who was at the Spanish job site, employed subterfuge to avoid shipping the machine back to the United States.

Although Bowyer’s employees told workers to take the machine to the Spanish port city of Malaga for shipment, a delivery driver told one of the employees that Schmidt’s sister had ordered him to take the machine to Grenada, Spain instead.

“The employee followed the machine and the driver, but was delayed by Schmidt’s sister at a restaurant as the truck that was carrying the crusher drove away. When the employee could not locate the delivery truck, Schmidt’s sister demanded another $106,000 to disclose the crusher’s location,” the court record states.

Police said Bowyer never got either crusher back from Spain.

Investigators said Schmidt became delinquent on his loans, and when First Farmers officers traveled to Georgia to visually inspect loan collateral, Schmidt sent them to storage locations which didn’t exist. Bank officials said Schmidt finally admitted to selling the collateral he’d pledged.

Bowyer pressed charges and, in 2007 after an Indiana State Police investigation, Schmidt was charged in Miami County under two separate cases totaling eight charges and was extradited from Texas where investigators, armed with warrants, tracked him down two years later.

While the Miami County charges were pending and before Schmidt was arrested, additional theft charges were filed against him in Howard County, alleging Schmidt failed to deliver machines which Bowyer had paid for. Bowyer borrowed money from STAR Financial Bank in Howard County to make the purchases.

To resolve all the charges filed against him in Miami County, Schmidt pleaded guilty to a Class D felony theft charge in one of the two cases and was sentenced to three years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. He was released in 2011.

In a unanimous ruling last week, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out Schmidt’s motion to dismiss the still-pending Howard County charges.

His attorney had argued the charges constituted double jeopardy since Schmidt’s now-resolved Miami County charges also involved his dealings with Bowyer. Barring a successful appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, the case now returns to Howard Superior Court II for either a plea arrangement or a trial on two Class C felony theft charges.

Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 7 charged in Howard Co. following prescription drug probe

    Two doctors and five employees of the Drug and Opiate Drug Recovery Network (DORN) on South LaFountain Street were arrested earlier today as part of a long-term prescription drug investigation.

    July 25, 2014

  • Escapee Escapee apprehended in Carroll County

    BURROWS — The inmate who escaped from the Logansport State Hospital Thursday night was apprehended in Carroll County late Friday morning. Carroll County Sheriff's Department Major Tobe Leazenby said Christopher J. Robbins, 23, Medaryville, was appreh

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Section of Market St. to close Monday Market Street will be closing between Superior and Sycamore Streets in downtown Kokomo Monday beginning at 7 a.m. for a minimum of one week. The closure will allow contractors to work on the Market Street Sewer Separation Project, which includes the

    July 25, 2014

  • Four arrested on meth-related charges Howard County sheriff deputies arrested four people on numerous charges after deputies went to a home west of Kokomo to serve a warrant late Thursday. Deputies went to the home located at 7610 W. 220 South shortly after 11 p.m. in search of a man wan

    July 25, 2014

  • Feds plan review over Medicaid backlog INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Federal officials are reviewing Indiana’s procedures for enrolling residents in Medicaid after finding the state had 80,000 low-income residents awaiting approval in May.Cindy Mann, director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicai

    July 25, 2014

  • Bona Vista to build new $1.23 million housing development Bona Vista Programs has announced plans to build a new $1.23 million housing development in downtown Kokomo to accommodate people with disabilities.The new 6,500-square-foot housing unit called Elmwood Trails will be located at 1101 N. Buckeye St. an

    July 25, 2014

  • Burlington woman charged in May fatal crash Police arrested a 26-year-old Burlington woman Wednesday who is accused of causing a fatal crash while driving drunk.Howard County sheriff deputies served a warrant on Casie E. Johnson charging her with a B felony causing death while operating a vehi

    July 25, 2014

  • Airshow Practice 05 Eyes to the sky Twenty-four-year-old Kevin Coleman is one of the youngest air show stars in the world.The Louisiana man is a second generation pilot and second generation air show performer. As a kid, he watched as his dad and then his brother flew through the skies

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Former county official pleads guilty to conversion One of two former county officials charged with theft and official misconduct was sentenced last week to a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges. Darrell Reed, 52, pleaded guilty to two Class A misdemeanor conversio

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS - KT072514 Kokomo School Board - pic Blueprints found during demolition aid Central Middle School remodel

    When workers began the tear down for renovations to the Central Middle School auditorium, they stumbled upon something very important and helpful sifting through the century-old material. Tucked away inside the structure were the original blueprints,

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries