FEDERAL COURT 2 indicted on host of fraud charges
The father-daughter team once operated Pro Insurance in Boardman.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A federal grand jury in Cleveland has indicted John E. Prokop and his daughter Lisa Maria Tokarsky, both of Boardman, on fraud charges.
Prokop, 77, of Barbie Drive, and Tokarsky, 44, of Samuel Court, are charged with conspiracy, 20 counts of mail fraud, nine counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Prokop is also charged with eight counts of false declarations before the court and Tokarsky with four counts of false declarations before the court.
The false statements to the court involve testimony given in a civil lawsuit brought by investors in Youngstown, the government said.
The federal case involves an alleged scheme to defraud investors in payphones, viatical (insurance) contracts and automated teller machines.
The indictment states that from 1997 through December 2002, Prokop and his daughter conspired to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud.
From 1997 through September 2000, operating as Pro Insurance and later under Pro Insurance Associates Inc. in Boardman, they spent significant sums of money to promote and sell nontraditional investments, the government said.
They falsely claimed in radio programs and in the print media, including fliers, the Yellow Pages, newspaper and billboard advertisements, that the investments they sold were safe, had no risk and were guaranteed a high rate of return, the indictment alleges.
Prokop and his daughter are accused of moving or attempting to move investors from one investment to another to keep investors' funds tied up with them, thereby earning commissions based on a percentage of the sales price. All the companies failed.
The indictment charges they sold more than $9.8 million in payphones; $6.2 million in viatical settlements; and $855,000 in ATMs. They collected commissions of nearly $2 million, the government said.
The case is being prosecuted by Christian H. Stickan and Justin J. Roberts, assistant U.S. attorneys. It was investigated by the FBI.