FBI, sheriff’s office, prosecutors want to meet Summit Contracting victims

Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 2:12 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2022 at 4:49 PM CST
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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Brown County Sheriff’s Office and federal prosecutors are notifying customers of Summit Contracting who were victims of fraud or theft about a meeting taking place next week.

Authorities emphasize this is a meeting for victims only. It will be attended by representatives of the FBI, sheriff’s office, and U.S. Attorney’s Office. They will be answering limited questions on the criminal case. The meeting is being organized to discuss restitution and how the Victim Witness Unit may assist victims in filing disputes.

The USAO’s Victim Witness staff is reaching out to a “large volume” of people who reported they may be a victim using an online form created in 2019. If you reported yourself as a victim with the online link since 2019, you are welcome to attend even if you have not heard from the prosecutors’ office. This meeting is for victims that already registered on the FBI site. The meeting is not open to the public. It is also not open to anyone associated with Summit Contracting.

The meeting is Wednesday, February 9, at 5:30 P.M. at the Brown County Sheriff’s office, 2684 Development Dr., in Bellevue.

RSVP to Katie Wozniak at katie.wozniak@usdoj.gov if you are interested in attending the meeting. Officials will ask for identification verification so victims should bring a form of ID.

As FIRST ALERT INVESTIGATES reported yesterday, Chad and Gina Schampers, Nate Smith and Jeffrey O’Brien are indicted by a federal grand jury on 9 counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. Chad Schampers is also indicted on wire fraud and money laundering.

The company owners and lead salesman were led into a federal courtroom in Green Bay in handcuffs Wednesday morning.

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Our cameras were there as Nate Smith, one of Summit Contracting’s owners, walked into federal court Wednesday morning to turn himself in.

It didn’t take long for all four people indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on bank and wire fraud charges to be led in handcuffs by U.S. marshals into the courtroom.

Chad Schampers; his wife, Gina Schampers; Smith; and Jeffrey O’Brien, Summit’s lead salesman, all walked in, not uttering a word.

While our cameras are not allowed inside federal court proceedings, we did sit inside, watching each person appear individually in front of a judge, their indictment carefully read.

Prosecutors allege Summit Contracting used deceptive, misleading tactics to con customers into using two specific financing companies Summit was working with. But instead of signing loan applications, prosecutors say Summit was getting customers to sign other documents that almost immediately released money from that financing company and put it straight into Summit’s hands.

Customers tell FIRST ALERT INVESTIGATES they’re still on the hook for paying back loans to those financing companies even though prosecutors argue work on their homes was never completed -- and in some cases never even started.

Chad Schampers faces additional wire fraud and money laundering charges after investigators say he was given nearly $300,000 through the federal paycheck protection program for pandemic relief but instead used it for personal gain.

In court, all four people pleaded not guilty and were allowed to leave. They agreed to surrender passports and show up for all future hearings.

And those will come quickly.

Because of speedy trial laws, if the cases go to trial that would actually happen just over two months from now.

Each of the four people indicted faces more than a million dollars in fines and decades in prison if convicted.

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