Bristol woodworker arrested for wire fraud scheme

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BRISTOL – David Conrad, a 42-year-old resident of Bristol, Vermont, was arrested on Wednesday following his indictment for conducting a wire fraud scheme between January 2022 and February 2023.

Conrad, who operated a custom woodworking business under the names “Old Camp Woodworking” and “Vermont Custom Designs,” will be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle.

According to court records, Conrad advertised his businesses on Facebook and had stand-alone websites that allowed customers to place orders for custom wood items.

However, parts of these websites were plagiarized from other woodworking websites, and some of the photographs on the websites were not original photographs of custom pieces crafted by Conrad, but rather copies of photographs from elsewhere on the internet.

Between January 2022 and February 2023, Conrad accepted approximately $165,500 through various payment methods for over 100 different items ordered by customers in Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire.

As part of the scheme to defraud, Conrad accepted payment for items he knew he could not complete within the 12-to-16-week timeframe he quoted customers.

Conrad made numerous false statements to customers regarding the status of their orders and regarding why orders had not been completed.

Conrad used his strict refund policy as a reason to retain funds from customers, despite not having begun work on their orders.

He allegedly used funds obtained from customers to pay for his and his family’s personal expenses, while knowing that he would be unable to complete the custom-made wood item ordered by the customer from whom the funds were obtained.

The grand jury’s indictment alleges five specific fraudulent transactions that involved interstate wires.

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an Indictment contains allegations only and that Conrad remains presumed innocent until and unless he is convicted of a crime.

He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, and restitution to the victims, on each alleged count. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

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