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Police looking for man who scammed about $1 million

May 07, 2004

FREDERICK, Md. - Lured to a restaurant in Thurmont, Md., for what they believed was a legitimate financial seminar, several people invested their money in resort properties, but have since reported to police that they've lost more than $1 million on the deal.

The seminar, held at the Cozy Restaurant in early March, was billed as being sponsored by a company called Hinkle and Associates, the Frederick County Sheriff's Department said in a news release. People attending the seminar were asked to invest money in properties in the Branson, Mo., and the Cancun, Mexico areas, police said.

Several people attending the seminar invested in properties because they were told their money would be insured and that they would receive an 11 percent return on their investments, police said.

After investing their money, the seminar attendees were not able to reach the company through an 800 phone number that had been provided because the phone line had been disconnected, police said.

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The loss to the seminar attendees is estimated as more than $1 million, police said.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Department, in conjunction with the FBI, was investigating. Sheriff's Office Deputy 1st Class Jennifer Bailey said that the seminar was held at the beginning of March, but said she didn't know how many people attended.

"The Cozy Restaurant did not have anything to do, of course, with the seminar," she said.

Anyone with information on the man who conducted the seminar may call 301-644-4131.

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