CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Glen Galemmo, the man behind one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Ohio history, was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Herman J. Weber gave Galemmo the maximum sentence of 188 months in federal prison. Galemmo must also pay $35 million in restitution.
Galemmo pleaded guilty in January, admitting that he took millions of dollars from investors but never invested it. According to court records, the amount was somewhere between $7 and $20 million -- with as many as 200 victims.
Authorities said the financial crimes began in 2008. In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service seized control of Galemmo's business, Queen City Investments.
A dozen former investors in Queen City Investments made emotional pleas in a federal courtroom this week as part of a sentencing hearing, sharing the impact the monetary loss has had on their lives.
On Wednesday, former investor John Rush told the judge there are two different Galemmo's.
He stated the first is the "Honorable Glen Galemmo," a man he considered a friend for nearly 15 years and invested with for more than a decade. Rush also referred to what he calls the "Duplicitous Glen Galemmo," who he said deceived and defrauded more than 140 investors.
"The domino effect of his actions is deep and wide," Rush told the court.
Galemmo asked for a shorter prison sentence for his crimes last week. Court records show Galemmo's attorneys believed a 6-year sentence would be sufficient, but not excessive.
U.S. attorneys asked for the maximum sentence of 188 months.