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Huntington business owner arrested following investigation into racketeering allegations

A police officer carries handcuffs before a raid in 2022. Shelbyville police arrested a man on Feb. 9 after they say he shot a 16-year-old boy several times in a drive-by shooting in December 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — A five-month-long investigation into a Huntington business owner ended with an arrest Wednesday for allegedly committing corrupt business influence, police say.

Since June, the Indiana State Police says it has been investigating the business practices of 51-year-old James Emley after a series of complaints alleging racketeering-business activity from August 2021 to April 2023.

In each of the seven complaints, victims alleged entering into business contracts with Emley and paying thousands of dollars upfront for him to build custom food trucks.

According to a news release, each victim paid between $20,000-$50,000, which totaled over $200,000. The investigation alleges that Emley received the funds but never fulfilled any of the contracts.

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, officials went to Emley’s place of business to execute a search warrant. During the execution of the search warrant, officers went to Emley’s home in the 4000 block of West River Road with a warrant to arrest and were taken into custody without incident.

Emley was taken to the Huntington County jail on a preliminary charge of committing corrupt business influence. Emley, though, was not listed Wednesday or Thursday as an inmate on the Huntington County sheriff’s app.