Germantown investment scam, federal charges against business partners

The head of a defunct Germantown real estate company intends to plead guilty to a federal fraud charge.

Joe Nemeth is accused of taking nearly $3 million from investors, using it for other purposes. His former business partner, Jeremy Arrington, is set to be sentenced later this month.

In a strip mall off of Mequon Road in Germantown, Wisconsin Home Buyer's Network was once headquartered – a shipping store, registered to a mailbox inside.

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The federal government says Arrington and Nemeth were taking money from investors, promising little or no risk, and offering returns from 12-36%. Instead, they used that money to pay off debt, delinquent taxes and other financial issues.

Between 2012 and 2017, the federal government says Arrington and Nemeth received $2.8 million in funds from 16 investors. When they were unable to pay the returns, the government says the two tried to get extensions, additional money and new investors in what federal authorities said was a Ponzi-type scheme. In all, prosecutors say less than $500,000 in investor funds were returned.

Joe Nemeth; Jeremy Arrington

Arrington was charged in August 2021 with one count of wire fraud and pleaded guilty that October. Nemeth was charged with the same count last week, and a plea deal was arranged; the government intends to recommend a sentence on the low end of federal guidelines, which carry a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Both men will have to pay approximately more than $2 million back as a part of restitution in the case.

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