Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Man bags 15 years jail term for duping 500 people $70m in Ponzi Scheme
A man has been sentenced to 15 years in jail and been told to pay $35million in restitution for his role in a $70million Ponzi scheme. William Apostelos, 55, and his wife Connie Coleman, 51, were first charged over the scheme in 2015. Since 2009, the couple from Springboro, Ohio, swindled nearly 500 investors out of their money. Over the course of five years, they received $70million but the pool of investors lost $20million collectively.
They used various businesses to launder the money through including Coleman Capital Ltd. and Silver Bridle Racing, a horse racing business owned in Coleman's name. Apostelos held three investment companies in his own name and duped investors into believing he had a degree in mathematics and said he was a registered securities broker. He spent the money on lingerie for his wife, spending $400-a-month to indulge her at Victoria's Secret. When investors grew suspicious and began demanding returns on their money, they told them their accounts had been hacked, that the bank had mistakenly failed to wire them what they were owned or that a deal they had invested in on their behalf had been put on hold.
After their arrest in 2015, the government seized two race horses, cars, jewelry and artwork worth $650,000 from the couple.In April, Coleman pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering. Apostelos pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and theft or embezzlement from an employee benefit plan around the same time. His sentence was handed down on June 30 at a sentencing hearing where he said he was 'ashamed and embarrassed' by what he had done. His wife will be sentenced in August.