Two years ago, we ratted on George Beros, of Shaker Heights, who along with six others was indicted in a Denver federal court for allegedly scamming investors from 31 states and four foreign countries of $56 million ["The Con Is On
," May 5, 2004].
Prosecutors say they created a number of legitimate-looking front companies, one of which had an office in Independence, and bedded their quarry with slick sales talk and official-looking documents. The take was spent on things like a century-old, 42-room mansion near Aspen and eight NASCAR cars.
To date, only one defendant, Jannice Schmidt, has pleaded guilty. The case has been delayed multiple times. And even if the others follow, it's not likely those investors' money will be recovered.
But last week we got a call from a Denver man who wasn't one of those victims. After meeting Beros in 1997, the man invested $200,000 in Golden Leaf Management, a company Beros had set up out there. The money was held for two years, with "very little results," we were told.
So the man asked for his money back. Beros, in the process of moving from Denver to Cleveland, didn't want to lose the account. So before he left, he signed a personal note for the man, guaranteeing his investment.
When things didn't change, the man again asked out. For a year he pleaded with Beros to return his money. Then he began sending demand letters, which were ignored.
Three more years passed. On a whim, the man made a Google search and found our article. He quickly filed suit against Beros. Two years later, a Colorado district-court judge upheld his arbitrator's award for $200,000.
So you see, fair reader, reading Scene
can pay. Like, really. -- Jason Nedley