Olentangy Valley News

Delaware County residents accused of defrauding investors

Three Delaware County residents were arrested and indicted last week after an alleged scheme to defraud their company's investors, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Preston J. Harrison, 42, of Lewis Center, and Thomas E. Jackson, 39, of Powell, were indicted by a federal grand jury May 20 on nine counts of wire fraud and 20 counts of money laundering, among other charges, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Harrison, a former Ohio State University football player, and his business partner allegedly diverted funds invested in their business, Imperial Integrated Health Research and Development LLC, for personal use, according to the release.

The Westerville-based firm was the maker of OXYwater sports drink.

Harrison and his wife, Lovena E. Harrison, 41, also face charges of conspiracy and filing a false income-tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Preston Harrison and Jackson also currently are being sued by 13 investors in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas for $4.8 million in damages.

According to the plaintiffs' complaint, Preston Harrison and Jackson deceived investors about the structure and finances of their company in order to use investors' funds for their personal gain.

According to a federal indictment, the business partners misappropriated $2 million in investors' funding to make purchases that included cars, jewelry and a swimming pool.

Imperial declared bankruptcy in 2013, losing about $9 million of investors' money, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.