Treasure Valley jet boat companies owner indicted for wire/bank fraud; arrested in New York

Posted at 2:54 PM, Sep 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-15 16:54:58-04

Christopher Bohnenkamp, 41, formerly of Kuna, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Boise for wire fraud and bank fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson. 

On Tuesday, Bohnenkamp surrendered to an arrest warrant in Buffalo, New York and was taken into custody.
An initial appearance is set before the United States Magistrate Court in Buffalo at 12 p.m. EST. 

The indictment, unsealed upon Bohnenkamp’s surrender to the arrest warrant, alleges that Bohnenkamp owned two companies -– Bohnenkamp’s Whitewater Customs, Inc. and Treasure Valley Marine, Inc. –- that custom-built jet boats and trailers. 

In 2014, investigators say Bohnenkamp devised a scheme to defraud customers and material vendors of his companies by misrepresenting that his companies would custom build and deliver jet boats and trailers and pay vendors for materials that they supplied on credit.

The indictment alleges that, from 2012 through 2014, Bohnenkamp accepted about $1,611,339 in upfront payments from fifteen customers -- but never built and delivered the jet boats and trailers they ordered, according to a release from Olson’s office.

Still owing these customers the jet boats and trailers they ordered, and owing material vendors for component parts purchased on credit, the defendant continued to accept orders and upfront payments from new customers from May of 2014 through December of 2014 -- during which time his companies were insolvent.  According to the Indictment, during this time, thirteen new customers paid Bohnenkamp’s companies approximately $1,662,699, and received either unfinished boat hulls or nothing in return.

The indictment also alleges that, between 2012 and 2014, Bohnenkamp defrauded KeyBank and Washington Trust Bank in connection with approximately $1,006,053 in proceeds they lent to six customers to purchase jet boats and trailers.  The indictment claims Bohnenkamp caused the banks to be provided with false bills of sale that misrepresented that down payments were made, inflated trade-in values, and omitted kick-backs of cash. 

The indictment says, if convicted of wire fraud, the defendant shall forfeit $1,662,699, and that, if convicted of bank fraud, he shall forfeit $1,006,053.

The charge of wire fraud, affecting a financial institution, is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1,000,000, and up to five years of supervised release.

The charge of bank fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a maximum fine of $1,000,000, and up to five years of supervised release.

The case is being investigated by the FBI.