Paul D. Allen, the self-promoted “data center developer” who led Floyd County’s economic development folks down a long and unfulfilled path of promises about a data center in the area, is now under indictment for $1.2 million in bank fraud in Ohio.
It traces back to Allen’s “B-Telecom,” a data company he claimed to own when he came to Floyd in 2009 and the one that ran a data center in Ohio that did not exist. He used photos taken from an AT&T data center web site to create his own web site to promote the non-existent data center in Ohio.
Much of the money he lived on to promote a well-do-lifestyle came from phony loan documents generated with a co-conspirator at a bank in Tennessee.
Allen, who disappeared from Floyd owing back rent and a mound of unpaid bills, signed an agreement with the Floyd County Economic Development Commission to promote a proposed data center here.
But the more we looked behind the Allen facade the more fantasies than fact emerged about his data center claims.
B-Telecom in Ohio was a shell that the state there shut down. We found Allen was named in a federal action that shut down the Oakland Deposit bank in Tennessee and investigators found Allen manufactured loan records in the names of borrowers without their permission and forged their signatures for amounts ranging from $42,770 and $168,000.
The totals from all this? More than $1.2 million says federal prosecutors in Ohio.
A federal grand jury for the Northern District of Ohio indicted Allen for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and three counts of actual fraud.
Allen, now living in Mississippi, will be arraigned in the U.S. District Court in Ohio on Tuesday.
Sadly, Floyd County lost thousands of dollars in its dealings with Allen and some county officials questioned our investigation into his dealings, claiming that my stories were ruining what they said could be a good deal.
Some of our earlier stories: