- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A former Kearney investor has been indicted in federal court on 19 counts of wire and mail fraud.

The Kearney Hub (https://bit.ly/1NHc4Sy ) reports Jeffery Sikes appeared in federal court Wednesday. Court records say Sikes contacted real estate developers between Feb. 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2013, and falsely claimed to have tenants to rent various retail commercial properties in Kearney and Grand Island. Prosecutors say he asked for fees to be paid to him by the real estate developers for finding the tenants.

Sikes is also accused of requesting an investment of $150,000 from one investor for a new company called Vanguard R and D. Court records say Sikes claimed if the investor paid the money, then Sikes would invest another $150,000 for the potential investor.

Prosecutors also say Sikes and other people associated with Vanguard contacted representatives of a Lincoln partnership about obtaining a lease for commercial space. Court records say Sikes claimed the company planned to establish a lab space in Lincoln for research and development use, and the partnership would provide $750,000 in financing. According to prosecutors, the Sikes made false claims to investors, misused funds and used false documentation as part of his scheme.

Court records say he contacted the investors between March 1, 2012, and Aug. 27, 2013, and April 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014.



The Associated Press left a message seeking a comment with the Federal Public Defender’s Office, which has been appointed to represent Sikes.

A status hearing has been scheduled for January.

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Information from: Kearney Hub, https://www.kearneyhub.com/

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