Fishing lure company owner pleads guilty to leaving investors on the hook

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Shawano County man has pleaded guilty to three counts related to a fishing lure business scheme that left investors on the hook.

On April 22, Andrew J. Reyment of Cecil pleaded guilty to three counts of embezzlement, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Action 2 News reported on Reyment last May. Investigators said he embezzled about $325,000 from investors for a fishing lure company. Some of that money was used to fuel a gambling habit, according to the DOJ.

The DOJ says Reyment made false representations about the company, Screamline Lures. He posted on websites and social media that he was looking for investors.

Reyment claimed he had several patents, but investigators found that to be untrue. Reyment told one victim that the lures were being produced at a warehouse in Green Bay. That was found to be untrue, according to the criminal complaint.

Reyment told another investor about manufacturing lures and parts in De Pere and Wausau. The complaint says that he misrepresented those claims.

Investigators say an ex-girlfriend told them Reyment produced one prototype of a lure and created a website and brochures. The ex-girlfriend said the prototype lure didn't even float.

She told investigators that Reyment had a gambling addiction. A special agent with the DOJ found a bank account listed to Screamline Lures had insufficient funds notices from several casinos.

The DOJ estimates $141,084 of investor money was spent at casinos.

The DOJ says victims were found in Wisconsin, Illinois, and as far away as Italy.

Reyment was arrested May 23, 2018.

“One of the many ways that the Wisconsin Department of Justice works to make our communities safer is by investigating and prosecuting financial crimes,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Embezzlement is a serious crime, and I’m glad that DOJ’s work on this case has resulted in a conviction.”

Reyment faces up to 30 years in prison and $75,000 in fines.

The request for victim restitution is $350,518.40.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 21 at the Brown County Courthouse.