Excessive Heat Warning Issued for West Michigan

Man pleads guilty in racketeering scheme

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A man has pleaded guilty to defrauding at least 20 people out of more than $2.2 million through his Grand Rapids-based company.

John Von Stach, 50, was accused of selling investments to people across the United States and Canada with a promise of a 20% return in 90 days through VSP North America LLC and V-Power Energy, Inc., and failed to deliver on the promise.

At least 20 people were victims of the scheme and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

He was charged with 21 felonies, including:

  • One count of conducting a criminal enterprise
  • Seven counts of false pretenses of $100,000 or more
  • Two counts of false pretenses of over $50,000 but less than $100,000
  • Seven counts of false pretenses of over $20,000 but less than $50,000
  • Four counts of false pretenses of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000

As part of his plea agreement, Von Stach will receive a delayed sentence with a length dependent on how much and when he pays restitution.

If he repays $1 million towards restitution before sentencing, multiple counts will be dismissed, and he will receive 19 months.

If $1.5 million is paid, the same charges will be dropped, and he will receive a 15-month sentence.

If Von Stach doesn’t repay $1 million before his Jan. 8, 2020 sentencing date, he will be sentenced on all 21 counts.

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