Former Whitestown-based builders charged with $1.2M fraud

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The co-owners of a Whitestown-based homebuilder that filed for bankruptcy in 2013 have been arrested and charged with theft, corrupt business influence, perjury and forgery, Indiana State Police announced Saturday.

Police say Gary Ogle, 69, and Robert Fersch, 68, defrauded customers and subcontractors in Hendricks, Marion, Boone and Hamilton counties of $1.2 million.

Ogle's profile on LinkedIn says he previously served as director of the Brownsburg Chamber of Commerce and president of the Brownsburg Redevelopment Authority, Brownsburg Economic Development Commission and Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership.

Ogle and Fersch ran BiltRite Homes LLC in Whitestown as a Ponzi scheme, police allege, by taking money from customers to pay off debts on previously built homes. Police say the men began taking payments from new customers without taking action toward building a home for them. 

According to investigators, the men eventually quit paying bills, resulting in property liens being placed on completed homes. At least 30 homeowners were involved.

Authorities began receiving complaints about the company shortly after it filed for bankruptcy in November 2013. The company listed debts at $1.5 million and assets of $20,032 in its Chapter 7 liquidation filing.

Police said they are continuing to investigate the case.

Ogle is already facing similar felony counts in Marion County after prosecutors charged him in February 2015 with defrauding a homeowner whose house was damaged in the 2012 Richmond Hill neighborhood explosion.

Prosecutors said Ogle was paid more than $240,000 to rebuild the home but he never paid the subcontractors for their work. The subcontractors eventually filed liens on the property.

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