Hamilton man sentenced to 10 years in prison for role in Ponzi scheme

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Hamilton man was sentenced in United States District Court Tuesday for his role for operating a Ponzi-style fraud scheme which defrauded more than 90 victims in three states.

James D. Powell, 53, pleaded guilty on June 28, 2010 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. He was sentenced Tuesday.

According to court documents, Powell created several companies in Hamilton under the names of Capital Investments, Great Miami Debentures, or Great Miami Real Estate and served as the president of the companies. Beginning sometime in 2002, Capital Investments held itself out as an investment company offering attractive rates of return to numerous investors in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana on their investment, evidenced by promissory notes and purportedly backed by a real estate portfolio of properties owned and managed by Capital Investments and Great Miami Real Estate.

Powell and a co-conspirator, now deceased, sold investments in the portfolio to numerous victims, many of whom were elderly, unsophisticated, or inexperienced investors. In addition, some of the victims attended the Princeton Pike Church of God in Fairfield, Ohio with one of the conspirators, and some of the investors were also insurance clients of the conspirators.

Powell then took money from new investors to pay off old investors.

Powell is sentenced to 121 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

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