Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Amish Bernie Madoff Has No Money to Give Back to His Victims

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM


When Bernie Madoff went down for his ponzi scheme, federal prosecutors seized everything from the Wall Street swindler’s $7 million Manhattan condo to the fur coat off his wife’s back in order to pay back victims. In the case of Madoff’s Amish counterpart, Monroe Beachy, the government will be lucky if they can hock a horse and some pitchforks.

Last week, the Sugarcreek investor and former Scene cover boy pleaded guilty in federal court. Rather than face a trial, the 78-year-old Beachy copped to defrauding more than 2,700 investors of almost $16 million over 20 years. A judge will sentence him at the end of the month; his lawyer has already told the court he plans to plea for leniency considering the defendant’s age.

According to Mike Tobin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the sentencing guidelines for mail fraud run from 151 to 188 months in prison. “Obviously, the judge can depart downward based on issues like age and health,” he says. “But I don’t think we’ve determined what we are going to ask for at this point.”

The bummer for Beachy’s victims — many of them fellow Amish — is that there doesn’t appear to be any money left over from the scam to make things right. Beachy wasn’t out stockpiling roadsters, weekending in Cabo San Lucas, or gifting the lasses of Holmes County with botox injections. The money is apparently down the toilet. Regardless, Tobin says, the government will seek a judgment against the investor — just in case his jailhouse bingo career skyrockets.

“Typically what happens in the case, the money’s gone, but you still seek to get the judgment in case someone wins the lottery or some other windfall, but that’s always the challenge in these types of cases.”

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.