Kuna boatmaker indicted on fraud charges

BOISE -- A former Kuna resident accused of using his jet boat companies to bilk customers and banks out of millions of dollars was indicted on fraud charges by a grand jury Tuesday.

Christopher Bohnenkamp, 41, turned himself in on an arrest warrant in Buffalo, New York Thursday morning.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Bohnenkamp was a Kuna-based boatmaker and owner of Whitewater Customs, Inc. and Treasure Valley Marine, Inc. The suspect is accused of defrauding his customers by promising to custom-build and deliver jet boats and trailers, then pocketing their money and handing over an unfinished product, or nothing at all.

According to the indictment, Bohnenkamp also convinced vendors to supply him materials on credit, but did not repay their money.

Court documents allege the suspect accepted a total of $1,611,339 in upfront payments from 15 customers, but never built or delivered the jet boats and trailers they ordered. Bohnenkamp continued to accept orders and money upfront from 13 new customers, despite still owing his previous customers their promised boats and vendors for the parts they had fronted him, according to the indictment. 

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The 13 new customers, who Bohnenkamp did business with between May and December 2014, handed over a total of $1,662,699, but all received unfinished boat hulls or did not receive anything, according to U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Wendy Olson.

In addition, the indictment states Bohnenkamp defrauded KeyBank and Washington Trust Bank of $1,006,053 they lent to six customers who sought to buy boats or trailers from the defendant. He is accused of causing the banks to receive with false bills of sale that misrepresented down payments, inflated trade-in values, and cash kickbacks.

The case is under investigation by the FBI. Bohnenkamp faces a total of 21 counts of wire fraud and six counts of bank fraud.

If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison for each count. He would also be required to repay money illegally obtained from the customers and banks.

Bohnenkamp is set to appear before a judge in New York Thursday.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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