Crime & Courts

2nd Charlottean charged in scheme that swindled more than 140

A second Charlotte resident was charged Monday in a $2.5 million fraud scheme that swindled more than 140 people – many of them elderly, federal prosecutors said.

Ludmilda O. Stencil, 46, was charged with five others from across the country in an indictment unsealed on Monday in federal court in Charlotte.

Stencil was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, 14 counts each of mail fraud and wire fraud and five counts of money laundering.

Since January 2012, Stencil and the others are accused of selling stock in Niyato Industries Inc., a Nevada corporation run by Robert Leslie Stencil, 59, also of Charlotte. Robert Stencil was charged with two others in the case in August. The relationship between the Stencils was unclear Monday night.

The fraudsters marketed Niyato Industries as a compressed natural gas car company that Robert Stencil owned and operated from Charlotte.

According to the indictment, the defendants also sold investors on a promise that Niyato was planning an initial public offering of stock that would reap pre-IPO investors a tenfold return on their investments.

Niyato Industries had no facilities, products, patents or plans for an imminent IPO, according to prosecutors.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak