The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 27, 2013

Mifflinburg area contractor charged for allegedly duping investors

The state attorney general’s office has charged a Union County man with spending $241,000 for personal debt and expenses instead of investing it in a storage facility partnership in West Buffalo Township, as he told 10 clients he would.

Charges filed Monday against Ted Cresswell, 57, of Mifflinburg, are deceptive business practices, theft by deception and theft by unlawful taking, all felonies.

He was arraigned at 1:30 a.m. Monday before District Judge Lori Hackenberg and is free on $50,000 bail.

Special agent Michael Cranga, of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, began his investigation in June 2012 following complaints from several investors that they had received no money from Cresswell and were unsuccessful in getting their money back from him.

“I’m sorry this happened,” said one investor who asked not to be identified and who, like others, had given Cresswell $25,000. Ten investors are listed in the affidavit.

“We were in shock,” the investor said after learning of the attorney general’s investigation. “What can I say?”

It wasn’t until the project wasn’t proceeding that this investor realized something was wrong. The attorney general’s office contacted this investor last fall.

According to the affidavit Cranga filed, between February and July 2008, Cresswell sought investors for what was called A&A Storage Center Partnership. He told clients he would build a commercial storage rental facility on his land at Forest Hill and Johnstown roads in West Buffalo Township, the affidavit states.

Investors received a prospectus stating they could buy into the storage partnership for $25,000 a share, and their money would be kept in an interest-bearing account.

Under the deal, $40,000 of investors’ money would go to buy and transfer the property to the partnership from Cresswell and his wife, Sandra; construction of the facility would be done by Ted A. Cresswell Construction Inc.

If the project failed to happen, investors would get back their money, the prospectus said.

Instead, investigators said Cresswell took $171,000 for the land and didn’t transfer the property to the partnership. He also hasn’t returned any investor money although the project failed to happen.

Bank records obtained from Cresswell show he routinely deposited investor money into an A&A Storage account, then transferred the funds into his other business account, the affidavit states.

Cranga’s investigation found that Cresswell almost immediately used it for his own benefit, the affidavit states, mainly to pay off personal debts and expenses.  

In a Dec. 7, 2012, interview with investigators, Cresswell admitted taking all the money. He said he stopped seeking investors for the project after the Federal Emergency Management Agency told him a change in flood elevation tables meant he couldn’t build the facility on the proposed site.

The investor who asked to remain anonymous said Cresswell also cited the change in flood zoning for the project’s holdup and promised to refund the money.

Cresswell said he paid himself $171,000 — not $40,000 — for what he determined as the land’s value and kept $70,000 for what he called pre-development costs.

According to the affidavit, court records show the fair market value of the property to be $31,680. Union County records show the property as still owned by Ted and Sandra Cresswell.

Cresswell could not produce documents to support his assertion of the change in property value or any pre-development, the affidavit states.

“We were really shocked,” the investor said about what happened, but still has faith in Cresswell. “I talked with Ted directly, and he promised he would get the money back. We’re hoping he’ll be as good as his word.”

This investor hasn’t spoken with any of the others involved.  

A phone call for comment to the Cresswell home was not returned Tuesday.

Cresswell is set for a preliminary hearing before District Judge Jeffrey Mensch on March 26.

Text Only
  • xbjfire21az.jpg Firefighters battle blaze at BJ's in Danville

    DANVILLE -- Firefighters were called to fight a fire at BJ's Steak & Rib House on Mill Street before 9 p.m. Sunday night. Customers in the restaurant and residents in nearby apartments were evacuated to the streets.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Loaded language

    Sometimes it’s the offhand remark that’s the most telling. Indeed, the way we Americans casually, often unthinkingly, incorporate gun metaphors into our everyday slang says a lot about how deeply embedded guns are in our culture and our politics, and how difficult it is to control or extract them. Consider this list, presented as bullet points — which are themselves so conventional, so central to the typography of mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, that you can forget what their shape represents.

    April 20, 2014

  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website ( is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.

    April 19, 2014

  • Danville parents hope strike ends quickly

    DANVILLE ““ First-grader Madison Wild was sad she missed school Thursday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Schools ask state to waive 180-day rule

    Three area school districts have asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to add up their hours instead of their days in order to reach the required amount of instruction time in the school year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Former Bucknell star in NBA playoffs

    ATLANTA — It really hit Mike Muscala a few days ago when he was listening to the Nets’ starting lineup at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    April 19, 2014

The Daily Marquee

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.