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Man in gym program fraud case must repay victims $8 million

November 4, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa health coach accused of defrauding more than 100 people out of millions of dollars by getting them to invest in a gym and fitness program has been sentenced to more than six years in federal prison and must pay more than $8 million in restitution to his victims.

A judge sentenced Mark Alan Blankespoor of Pella on Friday. He had pleaded guilty to wire fraud in June.

U.S. Attorney Marc Krickbaum says Blankespoor must repay $8.4 million to over 100 victims.

Court documents says Blankespoor was a health coach and consultant in Pella and convinced others he was developing medically-oriented gyms and was licensing the program to fitness clinics across the country.

Over four years he convinced investors to hand over millions of dollars which he used for personal expenses and to pay other investors.