MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 59-year-old Prior Lake man is accused of stealing more than $2.5 million in investment funds and loans from several investors after lying about the intent of those funds, according to charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Bryan Reichel, the founder and principal shareholder of PureChoice, Inc., was charged with seven counts of wire fraud in connection with the case.READ MORE: Ettinger Wins Dem Nod For Hagedorn's 1st District Seat; Finstad Leads GOP
According to the charges, Reichel got investments from April 2007 to November 2009 for PureChoice, a Burnsville-based company that sold air quality monitors. The charges state he stole money from investors by lying about the process of the company and not telling investors that the company’s main product didn’t comply with federal regulations.
One investor bought as much as $600,000 worth of PureChoice stock. Reichel falsely told to the investor that the money would be used for manufacturing and operational purposes. Instead, the money was used to purchase stock in other companies and pay off personal credit card debt, according to the complaint.READ MORE: KAT Named To All-NBA Third Team, Making Him Eligible For Supermax Contract
The charges state Reichel asked that same investor to provide loans of $800,000 and $200,000 in May and July of 2008 to “bridge the gap” until the next round of funding could be completed. That money was used personally for stock purchasing and paying off thousands of dollars in credit card debt.
Reichel is accused of lying to investors about PureChoice having a corporate agreement with 3M. He was telling investors his relationship with 3M was expanding, when in fact an agreement had expired.
In September 2009, Reichel allegedly asked two other investors for $1.5 million in loans to buy manufacturing materials so the company could meet projected sales and hire more staff. He told investors the money would be used to buy products from suppliers, but instead it was used to pay off earlier investors in PureChoice.MORE NEWS: Baby Zebra Born At Como Zoo
The case remains under investigation.