Eau Claire man indicted in $35M bank fraud scheme

Federal officials say a Wisconsin man has been indicted in connection to a $35 million bank fraud scheme.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 31-year-old Matthew Thomas Onofrio, from Eau Claire, defrauded multiple banks, including Bloomington-based MidCountry Bank, between 2020 and August 2022.

According to prosecutors, Onofrio ran Northwoods Management, which he used to market a real estate investing program. He then caused false information to be sent to lenders who were financing the investors’ real estate purchases and changed purchase agreements to support higher appraisals.

Officials allege that Onofrio withheld information from lenders, including that he was giving money to the investors to help them buy the properties and would temporarily send them money to create the appearance that they had more available funds than they really did.

He’s now charged with three counts of bank fraud, and the charges seek forfeiture of more than $35 million.

Onofrio made his first court appearance on Nov. 23.