Former Seymour resident indicted on fraud charges


A 42-year-old former Seymour resident with a financial criminal history was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on nine fraud charges.

Todd Van Natta, who now lives in Seabrook Island, South Carolina, faces those charges after prosecutors allege he stole more than $2 million from investors over a two-year period.

The indictment by a grand jury was filed Dec. 11 by U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon in U.S. District Court in Charleston, South Carolina. If found guilty, Van Natta faces 185 years in prison for all of the counts, including a charge he made false statements to the government.

According to court documents, Van Natta formed a company, Brokers Exchange, in 2016 to purchase shipments of goods, including shoes, electronics and iPhones, to resell for a profit.

Brokers Exchange and other businesses operated by Van Natta sought individual investors to provide money for the purchases, and he often directly solicited investments, according to court records.

Van Natta often obtained those investments under false and fraudulent pretenses, representation and promises by telling investors certain conditions existed at the time of their investment when they didn’t, according to court records.

Investors relied on that information when deciding to contribute, according to the indictment.

Van Natta would tell investors he had personal stake in an investment to reduce their exposure and that certain goods were under his control. Authorities said that was not true.

He was able to secure $2 million from investors, who often made no profit or lost the money they had invested. During the same time frame, Van Natta received more than $600,000 in payments, according to the indictment.

Van Natta also procured investments in Fly Charleston by telling investors he had a stake in the business when he didn’t. He didn’t disclose the ownership status of the business and often sold parts of the company he had already sold to others.

The indictment said Van Natta should forfeit any property derived from the activity listed in court documents if he is convicted.

In addition to the nine counts, Van Natta was charged with providing false statements to the government about income and restitution payments connected with his guilty plea in a fraud case in Indiana.

In 2013, he pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud and was sentenced to five years in prison for preparing and submitting false documents to banks and financial institutions. He was released in 2016, according to the Charleston Regional Business Journal.

That sentence included a repayment of $7 million for the 10 counts of bank fraud, three counts of wire fraud and two counts of tax fraud. He was arrested in March 2012 in the case.

The FBI closed in on Van Natta in May 2011 in that case when agents seized records from his father’s home as part of its investigation.

His initial appearance has not been scheduled.

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