Dozens of people across the Treasure Valley claim they’ve lost millions of dollars, in some cases their life savings in what their lawyer said is a shady real estate Ponzi scheme, and now they said they hope to warn others not to fall victim.
For five years, Frank Preston invested in property deals set up by Nathan Pyles and his company Shiloh Management.
"For the first five years it went extremely well,” said Preston. “We built up this incredible amount of trust.”
Preston said for those five years he received payments for interest on a monthly basis.
“He came across as a very good God fearing man, a christian,” explained Preston.
But Preston said Pyles turned out to be far from it and now Preston stands to lose his life savings.
“One million and ninety seven thousand dollars,” said Preston.
But Preston isn’t the only one who claims he lost everything.
“I’m upside down with Shiloh Investments roughly 750 thousand dollars,” said Roger Button.
"We currently had three investments with him each at 200 thousand,” said Janelle Nelson.
A lawyer representing some of the victims said he believes there are 100 people or more who lost money with Piles.
"I would say it's a classic Ponzi scheme,” explained attorney Gery Edson.
In all he believes that somewhere in the range of 10 to 20 million dollars is gone up in smoke.
"The scope of the scam is exponential,” said Edson.
The victims claim shady dealings cost them their hard earned dollars.
A Canyon County commercial listings report shows Shiloh Management Services Inc. owns at least 40 parcels of land in Canyon County alone.
In one case, Roger Button claims Pyles sold the property Button invested in and kept the funds.
If what the investors said is true what did Pyles do with all their money?
“My assumption is it could be offshore, it could be any number of places,” explained Edson.
“All of us are retirement age. All of us thought we had a nest egg. We thought we were going to be able to live on the rest of our lives but it’s gone,“ cried Nelson.
Edson said Pyles lives a life of luxury even owning two airplanes.
"Its hard to put an emotional tab on it or a dollar tab on it because the consequences are staggering,” said Edson.
"I'm 73 years old,” said Edson. “I’m just not sure how i'm going to get a job or how i'm going to put food on the table.”
“I know we will never have another new vehicle, we will never have enough major vacation because investment is really no longer there,” said Nelson.
Edson and his clients filed papers with the U.S. District Court in Boise asking that Pyles and his company file chapter seven bankruptcies to hopefully liquidate any an all assets Pyles has to give back to some of his investors.
“We don't expect that to happen in the near term,” said Edson. “We realize that.“
Jeffrey Kaufman who represents Pyles in the Bankruptcy said Shiloh Management owes creditors about 13 million dollars.
Kaufman said in a statement Mr. Pyles denies any sort of scheme to mislead those who lent money to Shiloh Management Services Inc. Let alone one that can be characterized as a Ponzi scheme.
"It’s really shameful. It’s harmful. It’s emotional. We feel foolish but we are just hoping to get through it,” said Nelson.
"This is my way of doing what I can by getting the word out so this man can stop preying on innocent people,” said Button.
The FBI is reportedly looking into Pyles and his investment companies.=
Just last week Pyles was arrested for four felony counts of writing checks with insufficient funds.
Pyles attorney said the checks were written without dates or postdated and the people who were given them were asked to hold onto them where there was a specific agreement that they be held until the funds cleared.