DAYTON, OH (FOX19) - A Springboro man pleaded guilty to committing a $70 million Ponzi scheme a federal prosecutor called the largest in local history.
William Apostelos, 55, admitted guilt in Dayton's U.S. District Court Friday to conspiracy to multiple counts of fraud and embezzlements. He will spend 15 years in federal prison for conning nearly 480 investors who lost more than $20 million collectively.
His wife Connie Apostelos, 51, also pleaded guilty to the scheme in April but has not yet been sentenced.
"I think this is the biggest Ponzi scheme that we've investigated in the Dayton area, maybe ever," said Benjamin C. Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. "William Apostelos stole approximately $1.9 million from pension fund that American workers were counting on for retirement."
Court documents show the couple scammed money starting in 2009 across 37 states for investments in WMA Enterprises and Midwest Green Industries — telling investors their money would be used for acquiring stock, purchasing real estate and land, providing loans to businesses and buying gold and silver.
But instead of honoring their end of the deal, the couple spent $35,000 a month on Connie's horse racing company and $400 a month on Victoria's Secret lingerie.
When they were late on interest payments to the victims, they lied about their bank account getting hacked.
The government seized two race horses, several vehicles, artwork and cash totaling $650,000.
"This was a massive and devastating fraud," Glassman said. "Apostelos thoroughly deserve the substantial prison sentence that he received today."