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Man gets prison for wire fraud involving BC business

Posted at 11:45 AM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 12:02:53-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A Nevada man will spend two years in prison for trying to defraud a mortgage lender of more than $450,000 in connection with a Battle Creek business.

Robert Buckhannon was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Investigators say he admitted to sending fake lease agreements and rental checks to a mortgage lender to show rental income at On Deck Sports Bar & Grill in Battle Creek.

Investigators determined there were no leases or tenants in the building outside of the restaurant.

Buckhannon used the fake documents to receive a $456,000 loan, which he used part of to by a personal home with Kelly Flees, who is a co-defendant in the case. Shortly after receiving the money in 2013, the restaurant was destroyed by a fire.

Buckhannon was sentenced Friday to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay $467,213 in restitution. Flees has also been sentenced to probation and will pay over $30,000 in restitution for knowing about the scheme and failing to report it to law enforcement.