BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Jefferson County man has been sentenced to 41 months in prison after engaging in a wire fraud scheme between 2016 and 2018.

Jeffrey Rusert, 52, pled guilty in June to embezzling over $1.3 million from his customers.

According to the Department of Justice, Rusert was the owner and president of Southern Craftsman Custom Homes Inc., a residential home building company. Between 2016 and 2018, Rusert engaged in a scheme to obtain money from at least 16 individuals and families. They solicited money from these customers to build custom homes and instead used the money for unrelated construction projects, outstanding debt and personal expenses.

“Rusert also assisted customers with obtaining a loan to finance the construction of their custom home,” according to the DOJ. “Rusert then submitted false and fraudulent invoices and documentation to financial institutions for the purpose of obtaining checks or draws from the construction loans purportedly to pay for materials, labor and expenses associated with a particular home under construction. Rusert failed to use and apply the money obtained from the financial institutions towards the construction of the customer’s home project.”  

“Rusert abused the responsibility entrusted to him by those wanting the American dream of owning their own home, but now he will pay the price for stealing $1.3 million,” U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town said.  “He chose to feed his own greed and lifestyle.  He will now feed on federal prison food for the next 41 months.”

In addition to the term of imprisonment imposed, Rusert was ordered to serve three years of supervised release.


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