Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ross County Prosecutor Matthew Schmidt announced Friday that a Circleville man will spend the next eight years in prison for his role in an organized scam that targeted elderly Ohioans.


According to DeWine’s Office, Charles Kuhn Jr., 47, pleaded guilty to charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft, telecommunications fraud, and conspiracy in Ross County Common Pleas Court. Kuhn was also sentenced by Judge Scott Nusbaum to an eight-year prison term.


"Those who think that they can get away with ripping off Ohio's senior citizens should think again," said Attorney General DeWine.  "Our senior citizens deserve to be treated with respect, and those who scheme to take their hard-earned dollars will serve hard time."


Kuhn and six other accomplices were indicted in February on charges alleging that they operated a scheme that targeted at least six elderly victims from Ross, Pickaway, and Hocking counties. The group is accused of stealing approximately $400,000 since 2011 by convincing the victims to loan them money, with the promise of large returns on their investments.


Kuhn, who is considered the ringleader of the group, is the first of the seven suspects in the enterprise to plead guilty. 


Attorney General DeWine created the Consumer Protection Section’s Economic Crimes Unit in 2011 to identify criminal conduct in consumer fraud cases and assist Ohio’s prosecuting attorneys in holding scammers criminally accountable. To date, 105 people have been charged with felonies and 66 have been convicted, according to DeWine’s Office.


Suspected scams and unfair business practices can be reported to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.