YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Boardman man is due in court sometime next month after being indicted Thursday by a Mahoning County grand jury on theft and forgery charges.
Police arrested David Perham, 53, in January, accusing him of mishandling investments for an Austintown woman, who reported the crime in November.
At the time, police believed there were more victims and asked people to come forward if they had dealt with Perham. Four more alleged victims came forward since the January arrest, and Perham was indicted on five counts of grand theft and five counts of forgery.
Police said he stole about $66,000 from the five clients while working as an investment broker in the area by convincing the alleged victims to liquidate their other assets and give the money to him.
“Whether it’s insurance policy, maybe get a bank check from a savings account. They gave him the checks to invest, or the money to invest and what he did was just deposit directly into his personal debit account,” said Austintown Police Sgt. Jordan Yacovone. “A lot of them, there was personal friendships involved here as well. When I spoke to several of the victims, they indicated it was disbelief. They said ‘He would never do that to me. He’s a friend of mine.’”
Police said in an effort to conceal what he was doing, he forged his wife’s name on the checks he was depositing, which detectives said Perham admitted doing. Although Perham’s wife also was arrested initially, authorities said the charges against her were dismissed this month after police determined she had no idea what her husband was doing.
As for the alleged victims, police said Perham rarely provided statements about the so-called investments and when he did, Yacovone said they were counterfeits.
“What it comes down to is you should be receiving quarterly, semi-annual statements. If you’re not getting those statements, that’s a red flag right there. It is something you need to look into,” Yacovone said.
Perham is not in custody and was seen by reporters leaving his Boardman home Friday afternoon.