GALESBURG, Ill. — The president of a defunct Galesburg custom-built motorcycle shop has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of mail fraud, bank fraud and wire fraud.

Chip S. Miyler is charged with five counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud, according to the indictment filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Illinois Central District.

The indictment states that beginning in April 2003 until October 2005 when the motorcycle company, Mid-West Choppers Inc., filed bankruptcy, Miyler allegedly defrauded customers by taking money for custom-built motorcycles, or accepting motorcycles and other vehicles as trade-ins toward the purchase of a custom bike, but never delivering the custom motorcycles that were promised.

The indictment alleges that Miyler defrauded 25 customers out of about $900,000.

Money was sent to Miyler by potential buyers by mail and wire transfer.

The bank fraud charge stems from Miyler allegedly lying on a loan application to First Bank by pledging collateral to back the loan in the form of motorcycles that he did not possess.

Mid-West Choppers also made news when it was commissioned by America’s 9/11 Ride Foundation of Leesburg, Va., to build a motorcycle to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The red, white and blue chopper was displayed in 2005 in New York City during a 9/11 commemorative event. The bike sold in 12 minutes for $160,000.

Thomas Geyer can be contacted at (563) 383-2328 or tgeyer@qctimes.com.

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