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Health coach accused of $6.5M gym program fraud

April 2, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A June trial has been scheduled for a Pella health coach accused of defrauding dozens of people who lost more than $6.5 million by investing in a gym program.

U.S. District Court records say 49-year-old Mark Blankespoor has pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of mail fraud and 12 counts of wire fraud. His trial is set to begin June 3 in Des Moines.

Prosecutors say Blankespoor told investors from at least May 2013 through this past January that the medically oriented program would be licensed to fitness clinics nationwide and that investors could earn a 40 percent return on their money.

But prosecutors say Blankespoor instead used their money for himself and to pay other investors.