Greenwood man indicted on federal fraud charges

A Greenwood man poured money he was supposed to be investing in a new trucking company into a Center Grove-area horse farm and himself, a federal indictment alleges.

Daniel R. Fruits, 46, is charged with 10 counts of wire fraud, six counts of money laundering, two counts of making false statements to a federally insured bank and a count of mail fraud, according to a grand jury indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The indictment was unsealed Dec. 11, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the charges Thursday.

Kloiber Management Services LLC, which is controlled by the Kloiber family of Lexington, Kentucky, hired Fruits in January 2015 to launch and operate Secure Transit. In 2017, Fruits became a 10% owner of the business. Between January 2015 and June 2019, the Kloiber family made 16 investments totaling $14.3 million in Secure Transit, according to court documents.

Throughout that time, Fruits repeatedly lied about the company’s financial health, who its customers were and what the money invested was being used for. He allegedly sent the investor fake customer sales contracts and falsified financial statements. Fruits would often ask for additional investments — sometimes in the millions of dollars — to buy trucks or other business-related expenses.

Fruits used most of the investor’s money on personal items. He allegedly spent $880,000 to buy the horse farm, Travis Creek Stables, on Stones Crossing Road in Greenwood, and his personal home, where he used the investor’s money for renovations and a pool, court documents said.

He spent $55,000 on a horse — named Practically Perfect in Every Way — $33,000 on a seven-horse trailer, $560,000 on an RV and trailer, more than $111,000 on a Corvette, about $120,000 on four Rolex watches, $23,000 on payments for two Ferraris and $30,000 on payments for two escorts, according to court documents. He also bought 10 guns, the documents said.

Additionally, Fruits attempted a mortgage fraud scheme on Fifth Third Bank. In late 2018, Fruits made false statements to Fifth Third Bank to secure a $432,000 mortgage. He submitted falsified paperwork twice to show that loans from another bank had been paid off, when they had not been, according to court documents.

Also in 2018, Fruits attempted a title-washing scheme to remove a bank’s lien from the title of a truck he purchased. He financed the truck with a loan from Ally Financial for more than $69,000, court documents said.

Several months later, he sent the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles a falsified letter pretending to be Ally Financial stating the loan had been paid off, according to court documents.

A U.S. Marshal arrested Fruits Wednesday at his Greenwood home and released from custody Thursday. He is represented by Indianapolis attorney Theodore Minch of the firm Sovich Minch LLP.

The Indianapolis Business Journal contributed to this report. 

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Emily Ketterer is the Daily Journal's multimedia news editor, and she covers the small towns and county government. She is a Johnson County native and a Franklin College alumna. When not at work, she enjoys watching Marvel movies, or trying to learn how to cook from the Food Network. She also loves Disney theme parks and is an annual passholder at Walt Disney World. She can be reached at [email protected] or 317-736-2770. Follow her on Twitter: @Emily_Ketterer.