At least 17 investors who sunk money into a project to convert an old power station near downtown Boise into an event space say they were taken for a ride by a scam artist.
The group of investors claim Jeffrey Jerome took their funds to transform the old brick power station into a cultural venue through his sham business and spent the money to repay debts and personal expenses like his mortgage. The Idaho Statesman reports Jerome raised more than $238,000 for the project.
A lawsuit was filed against Jerome earlier this month; he denies the allegations and says all the funds he raised were spent on refurbishing the Powerhouse Event Center.
Jerome filed for bankruptcy in 2009 following a divorce. Since 2010, he's been sued, mainly by creditors, at least 20 times. The state wants Jerome to pay about $141,000 in restitution to investors and a fine of at least $60,000.
The former Powerhouse Event Center, which was once a coal-fired power plant, has sat empty for a year. The building was constructed in 1912 by noted Boise architecture firm Tourtellotte and Hummel.
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