Ohio woman enters guilty pleas to 11 felony counts

CLEVELAND, OH (FOX19) - A woman was sentenced to a nine-year prison term after she pled guilty to 11 felony counts.

Joanne Schneider entered guilty pleas on one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, five counts of securities fraud, two counts of selling unregistered securities, one count of making misrepresentations in the sale of securities, one count of theft involving an elderly victim and one count of money laundering. Authorities say Schneider took part in a massive real estate Ponzi scheme where she swindled $60 million from investors.

The used the money to fund her real estate development projects.

A family member of an investor told authorities his mother was promised 16 to 20 percent interest on her investment and asked them to investigate. The Ohio Division of Securities issued a cease and desist order against Schneider in 2004 for selling unregistered promissory notes.

After continuing to sell promissory notes then violated the preliminary injunction selling securities without the court's permission, a receiver was appointed to take possession of the joint assets of Schneider and her husband.

The receiver recovered $10.5 million for the investors.

Schneider will receive credit for about two and a half years she has already served.

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