Developer Todd Raufeisen pleads guilty to wire fraud and money laundering

Over the course of 6 years Raufeisen took $1.7 from 22 investors

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - A guilty plea came in federal court Thursday from high profile and notorious developer Todd Raufeisen.
He admitted to committing wire fraud and money laundering.
 
Court documents indicate Raufeisen tricked 22 investors out of $1.7 million over the last 6 years. 
 
Documents also show Raufeisen used that money to pay for personal expenses and to repay previous debts from old projects.
 
Mike Thoms was among the many who loaned Raufeisen money for developments that didn't come together.     
Thoms said he got suspicious when he didn't get his money back from Raufeisen and saw him enjoying a lavish lifestyle.
 
"Taking a vacation, driving nice cars, those problems are very frustrating," Thoms said. "You hate to dive into someone's personal life but it became ours when it was our money that was supplying that," said Thoms.
 
Court records show Raufeisen borrowed money to finance his plans to develop property and that's when those deals went bad. His investors lost more than a million and a half dollars.
 
"We didn't see the federal indictments," Thoms said. "We did see what a appeared to be some criminal things going on there's no doubt about that," said Thoms. 
 
Over the years Raufeisen tried to build a business park near the Quad City International Airport and wanted to develop the Dock Restaurant property on Davenport's Riverfront.   
 
Thoms said he bought Fyre Lake Golf Course from Raufeisen as an investment and said the golf course deal had nothing to do with the case.   
 
"I'm out a lot of money," Thoms said. "I had a fairly large investment with him and loaned him money on a short term basis back in 2010 I've gotten no payments since then," said Thoms.
 
Thoms said Raufeisen had good intentions, but his schemes spun out of control.
 
He said the 22 people Raufeisen took advantage of lost more than money.
 
"Not only are people out of the money, but they're out of the money to help pay for college educations for their family which they anticipated getting back with some interest," Thoms said. "There's also a lot of stress that people have had to put up with," said Thoms.
 
Raufeisen now faces up to 30 years in prison or $500,000 in fines.
 

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